Another embarrassing, below average performance at the free throw line haunts the Miami Heat. In a 93-91 overtime loss, the Heat bricked seven free throws and produced 17 turnovers, losing out on yet another opportunity to steal a game in Boston.
With already 26 missed free throws coming into Game 4, Miami now has a combined 33 missed free throws over their last three games.
A lethargic start defensively for the Heat put them in a hole early and they finished the first quarter with an 11 point deficit. Reminiscent of Game 3 in the series against Indiana, Wade finished the half missing 10 of his first 12 shot attempts.
Down by as many as 18 points, 14 at the half, the Miami Heat had to rely on yet another comeback.
LeBron James led all scorers once again with 29 points but missed four free throws and gave the ball away seven times.
Fan favorite, Udonis Haslem, played dominate down low grabbing a game-high 17 boards, finishing the game with a double-double (12 points 4-6, 4-4 FT).
Once again, the Heat were fighting for the hope of a comeback.
After a “bear-hug” foul sent by Rajon Rondo in the third quarter, Wade woke up and chimed in nine of Miami’s 21 points of the quarter. Watching the pattern of the game was a deja vu type of feeling for me. Witnessing a comeback in back-to-back games and not being able to get over the hump was frustrating as a fan.
By the end of the third quarter the Heat had cut the deficit to just five points.
While the third quarter came to a close, the momentum was clearly on Miami’s side. The Heat continued to fight back and were within striking distance.
With an early fourth quarter foul called on Mario Chalmers, rookie point Norris Cole was given the chance to play and showed the Celtics a different pace. Cole had an immediate impact providing solid defense and drawing a critical foul on Rajon Rondo. The rookie finished with five points and two assists in 16 minutes.
A few questionable whistles later led to the fifth foul for Boston’s Paul Pierce and eventually Miami’s LeBron James. The Heat closed the gap with a clutch three by James and Miami found a way to gain the lead as the fourth quarter came down to its final minutes.
Tied at 89, the Heat were given the last possession in which they failed to convert.
Overtime was now declared.
In a shorten period, there was not much offense provided by either team. Throughout the overtime session, both Paul Pierce and LeBron James were given their sixth foul, (both of which could have gone in either teams favor) declaring the two ineligible for the remainder of the contest.
The game was now in the hands of Dwyane Wade with 14 seconds left. Down by 2, Heat took a chance at victory on a clear look from “3-point land” shot by Wade. Unfortunately for D-Wade, his shot trickled off and the Heat had officially lost.
The key to Boston’s success was Rajon Rondo. Recording another double-double, Rondo led the Celtics with 15 points, five rebounds and assisted his teammates 15 times. But it was an all-around effort for the Celtics with six players scoring in double figures.
The Celtics Big 3 finished with combined 56 points, 23 of those provided by Paul Pierce. The contributions continued with Kevin Garnett, fueling the Celtics with 17 points on 8 of 20 shooting and 14 rebounds. The three-point shooting display devastated Miami with Ray Allen knocking down 4 of 11 3’s and back up PG Keyon Dooling draining three of his five attempts from behind the arc.
It was a well deserved win for the Celtics.
According to rumors, an appearance by Heat PF Chris Bosh in Game 5 is probable. Out with an abdominal strain, (which occurred in Game 1 vs the Indiana Pacers) Bosh has now missed nine straight playoff games. Fans hope to see Chris in uniform as the pressure shift to Miami.
Whether or not he will start or even play is still unknown.