Final / OT

Miami wins series 4-1 (Game 4 of 5)

Miami wins series 4-1

Game 1: Sunday, May 1st
Game 2: Tuesday, May 3rd
Game 3: Saturday, May 7th
Game 4: Monday, May 9th
Game 5: Wednesday, May 11th

Heat 98

(58-24, 28-13 away)

Celtics 90

(56-26, 33-8 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    7:00 PM ET, May 9, 2011

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 OT T
    MIA 28 22 19 17 1298
    BOS 31 22 20 13 490

    Top Performers

    Mia: L. James 35 Pts, 14 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl

    Bos: P. Pierce 27 Pts, 8 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    LeBron James scores 35 points as Heat take 3-1 series lead

    Associated Press

    BOSTON -- Miami's Big Three was assembled for just this purpose: To dominate the bullies from Boston who knocked them from the playoffs so many times before.

    LeBron James scored 35 points, Dwyane Wade had 28 and Chris Bosh had 20 on Monday night to give the Heat a 98-90 overtime victory over the Celtics and move Miami within one game of the Eastern Conference finals. The Heat lead the best-of-seven East semifinals 3-1, with a chance to close out the series in Miami on Wednesday.

    "Wednesday night will be our greatest challenge that we've had with this group so far," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We'll get their best games on Wednesday. And we have to be better. If we're real about what we want to do, we have to beat the Boston Celtics at their best."

    One game after their worst performance as a threesome, James, Wade and Bosh had 83 of Miami's 98 points and 35 of its 45 rebounds. They scored all 12 of Miami's points in overtime; Bosh and Wade had five apiece after James' fallaway jumper on the Heat's first possession of the extra period gave them the lead for good.

    "We're the guys. We're the ones who get all the attention. We're the ones that get all the praise," Wade said. "This team is going to go as far as us three takes it."

    Paul Pierce scored 27, Ray Allen had 17 and Kevin Garnett had seven points and 10 rebounds for Boston. Rajon Rondo, who dislocated his left elbow Saturday night in Game 3, played 39 minutes with a padded sleeve covering what appeared to be a brace on his left arm, scoring 10 with five assists.

    The Celtics would need to win the next three games -- two in Miami -- to have a chance to defend their Eastern Conference championship.

    "These are those moments. I look forward to it," Allen said. "Everybody on this team, we know what to do. We can't talk about it; we just have to put our best foot forward. It's not easy. It just makes it that much more special if we're able to do it."

    Boston has reached the NBA Finals in two of the last three seasons, both times knocking James and the Cavaliers out along the way. The Celtics eliminated the Heat last year one round after knocking Cleveland out and sending James on the journey that landed him in Miami.

    In all, Wade had lost 11 straight regular-season and playoff games in Boston. James had lost 13 of 15, including the one that ended his Cleveland career.

    "I haven't had much success in this building," James said. "We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to just come out and do whatever it took."

    Boston took an 84-81 lead with 2:28 left after back-to-back 3-pointers by Delonte West and Allen, but James hit a 3 to tie it and then made a left-handed lay-in with 48 seconds to play to give Miami an 86-84 lead. Pierce drove to the basket to tie it, but James lost control of the ball while he was dribbling down the clock.

    Allen went for it and was bumped by James Jones, giving Boston the ball out of bounds with 19.5 seconds left and the game tied at 86. Pierce got the ball, waited out the clock and then took a high-arcing fallaway jumper in the final seconds that bounced off the rim as time expired.

    The Celtics scored just four points in overtime, shooting 1 for 6 and making four of their 18 turnovers. Garnett started things off by throwing the ball away, and then James made a fallaway jumper as the shot clock expired to give Miami an 88-86 lead.

    Allen missed, Bosh dunked at the other end, West missed a 3-pointer and then James drew a charging foul on Pierce. After another Boston turnover, Wade made a 2-pointer with his foot on the 3-point arc to give Miami a 92-86 lead with 2 minutes left in overtime.

    "We just had poor execution down the stretch," Pierce said. "It just carried into overtime, it seemed like. We feel like tonight we beat ourselves."

    One game after the Heat's Big Three combined for just 44 points -- their lowest total since they assembled their superteam in Miami -- they provided almost all the offense. No one else had more than four points, and the Heat's bench totaled just seven, but they won in Boston to earn the chance to finish it in five.

    "Our goal was to come out and compete for two games and hopefully get one. And we accomplished that goal," Bosh said. "We're one more win away from our short-term goal, and we just have to keep playing together and keep the defensive frame of mind that we did for the last three quarters."

    The 83 total points is tied for ninth-most by the Big Three, and their 84.7 percent of total team points is the second-highest percentage of the season, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

    Miami won the first two games at home, but the Celtics responded when the series returned to Boston and clamped down on the Heat's Big Three to win Game 3 97-81. Garnett had his best game of the series, scoring 28 with 18 rebounds, but the star for Boston was Rondo.

    The Celtics point guard returned from a dislocated left elbow and provided his team with the spark it had been missing.

    There was some doubt about whether he would be ready for Game 4 -- but not in Rondo's mind.

    An MRI and CT scan on the day off were both negative, and Rondo was back in the lineup.

    Instead, it was Spoelstra shuffling his lineup, activating Udonis Haslem for the first time since November foot surgery and rewarding Joel Anthony for his play in the early games with his first start of the playoffs.

    Haslem made just one appearance in the first three quarters, playing 3 minutes and picking up an offensive foul, a loose-ball foul and a technical foul.

    But the Big Three was back.

    The Heat went on a 10-2 run in the third quarter to take a 63-59 lead. It was a three-point game when Allen hit a 3-pointer and Boston scored 11 straight points to take a 73-65 lead before Miami scored the last two baskets -- on layups by Anthony and James -- to end the third quarter trailing by four.

    Game notes

    Miami had zero assists in the second quarter, and just eight through three. ... Boston activated point guard Carlos Arroyo in case Rondo's elbow and West's shoulder became a problem. He did not get into the game. ... Jermaine O'Neal was called for a flagrant foul on James in the first five minutes, perhaps an attempt by the officials to make sure things didn't get nasty after Saturday night's takedown in which Rondo was injured.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 98 90
    FGM-FGA 35-79 (.443) 30-70 (.429)
    3PM-3PA 3-13 (.231) 5-16 (.313)
    FTM-FTA 25-28 (.893) 25-29 (.862)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-45 3-28
    Assists 10 15
    Turnovers 17 18
    Steals 10 9
    Blocks 2 4
    Fast Break Points 9 15
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (2/0) 23 (0/1)
    Largest Lead 8 11

    Top Performers

    LeBron James James
    Points: 35
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0
    Paul Pierce Pierce
    Points: 27
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2

    Research Notes

    * The Big Three of the Miami Heat scored the final 31 points for the team... * They took the final 20 shot for the team, including all 7 of the teams shot in OT * No other Heat player scored in the 4th quarter or OT for Miami * The last player outside the Big 3 to take a FG attempt was Mike Miller with 9:57 left in the 4th quarter * The last player outside the Big 3 to score was Joel Anthony who made a layup with 54.6 second remaining in the 3rd quarter
    NEXT LEVEL: Through the first three quarters of Game 4 the Celtics shot over 44 percent from the field and averaged more than one point per possession in the half court. But in the fourth quarter and overtime Boston struggled to score in the half court, shooting under 30 percent on jump shots in half-court situations.
    NEXT LEVEL: Chris Bosh admitted he was nervous during Miami's Game 3 loss, and struggled to score just 6 points on 1-of-6 shooting. In Game 4 he bounced back with a 20-point, 12-rebound performance, and made a key tip-in to put the Heat up by five with 24 seconds remaining in overtime. Bosh had been successful as the roll man in pick-and-roll plays in the first three games of the series, shooting 83.3 percent and averaging 1.57 points per play. But in Game 4 the Heat big man found other ways to score.
    In Game 3, Kevin Garnett shot 5-of-9 on post-up plays, scoring 10 points. In Game 4, the post-up game was non-existent for Garnett, who attempted just one shot (0-for-1) and turned the ball over once on two post-up plays.

    James LeBron James attempted 28 shots Monday, tying the record for most field goal attempts by a Heat player in a single postseason game.


    ESPN Stats & Information