This game was never in doubt as the Celtics jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back on their way to an 88-62 win. The only suspense was whether or not the Celtics would hold the Heat to an NBA record low in field goals. The record for the fewest field goals in a game was 18. The Celtics held the Heat to a record low 17 field goals for the game. The starters played only 24 or fewer minutes with KG playing only 21.
It is obvious that the Heat are not interested in playing out the rest of the season. Even Pat Riley has jumped ship and is off scouting the NCAA's for his lottery pick. If you don't count Ricky Davis or Mark Blount, the entire active roster for the Heat have a combined 4 years of NBA experience. Ricky Davis played 45 minutes and as he always did for Boston, he played hard and was trying to make plays as he would drive and pass, but no one could make a shot. Ricky finished with 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 turn overs. Mark Blount had a typically ineffective game as he had 6 points and 1 rebound in 20 minutes. The most satisfying play of the game was when Perk gave him a hard foul resulting in 2 missed free throws.
It wasn't a pretty game as neither team shot particularly well. The Celtics shot 39% from the field while the Heat shot only 29% from the field. But, in spite of not shooting the ball well, the Celtics still played tough defense with both the starters and the second unit and the intensity going after rebounds, steals and loose balls was incredible as the Celtics had 13 steals and also out-rebounded the Heat 54-31.
Leon Powe continues to impress and was the player of the game with 17 points and 13 rebounds in 27 minutes. Whether Leon gets 2 minutes or 20 minutes you know that he is going to give you all he's got for the entire time. KG brought his usual intensity and finished with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists in only 21 minutes. Perk had 4 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks and a very satisfying take down of Blount when he ventured into the lane.
Pierce had 10 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists and 2 steals. Ray Allen had 10 points 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal as both played around 24 minutes. Rondo had a good game on both ends of the court as he finished with 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal in 24 minutes. Sam Cassell was able to get 18 minutes with both the starters and the second unit and finished with 9 points on 3-8 shooting with 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. Tony Allen also got to play more minutes finishing with 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.
James Posey had what may have been the play of the game as he dove out of bounds to save a ball and tumbled twice as he slid from the scorer's table to the middle of the Celtics bench after tapping the ball into Rondo for the save. As he came to a stop and jumped back to his feet in front of KG, Garnett jumped up and slapped Posey on the back side sending him back into the game. Posey won the Tommy Award for his hustle and finished with 7 points, 2 assists and 4 steals. PJ Brown looked good in 11 minutes and had 2 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block. Big Baby also played 11 minutes and finished with 4 points, 2 rebounds and an assist.
This win brings the Celtics' magic number to 3 for the home court advantage throughout the playoffs. The Celtics now have 9 games left and 6 of those are on the road. Next up is Chicago on the road. The Bulls are 4 games out of the 8th playoff spot and would love to play spoiler for the Celtics while keeping their playoff hopes alive. Unlike the Heat, even though they are out of the playoffs, they haven't thrown in the towel yet and should give the Celtics a better game.