This was a very strange game from start to finish. It was highlighted by 38 turnovers: 21 for the Celtics and 17 for the Cavs. The stars of the game, other than Kevin Garnett couldn't score and it was a defensive struggle on both sides. The Cavs shot 31% while the Celtics shot 43%. It was ugly, but it should answer the questions about whether the Celtics could win a close game.
With just 4 minutes gone by in the first, Pierce picked up his 2nd foul and went to the bench. He played very good defense on LeBron but never got on track offensively, shooting just 2-14 from the floor and finishing with 4 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 6 turnovers. Ray Allen also couldn't get on track as he went scoreless and took just 4 shots in 37 minutes and finished with 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 4 turnovers.
Rondo came out strong, scoring 8 of the first 12 points and assisting on the other 4. He out played Delonte as he did Mike Bibby in the previous series. Kevin Garnett was the player of the game as he scored 28 points to go with 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Perk once again was huge as he pulled down 12 rebounds to go with 7 points, 2 assists, 2 blocks and some excellent defense.
James Posey came in for Pierce when he went out with the 2 fouls and played excellent defense on LeBron. He came up very big at the end of the game on both ends of the court. With the Celtics up 74-72 and 21 seconds left. The Celtics had a foul to give and Posey was trying to catch LeBron to foul him but couldn't catch him as LeBron missed a layup. Posey grabbed the rebound and wrapped it up and was fouled. He hit two clutch free throws to seal the 76-72 victory as LeBron missed a 3 on the next possession and Rondo came away with the rebound and dribbled out the clock. Between Pierce and Posey, LeBron was held to just 12 points on 2-18 shooting but did pull down 9 rebounds, dish out 9 assists and turn the ball over 10 times.
As for the former Celtics, Delonte finished with 4 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, but couldn't stop Rondo and he shot just 2-10. Wally hit a couple of big three pointers but was just 5-14 and finished with 13 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists. Ilgauskas was the Cavs high scorer with 22 points to go with 12 rebounds. He also got away with a couple of hits on Perk's nose and kicking Sam when he was on the floor. Kudos to Perk for wrapping up Sam and keeping him from doing something stupid when he wanted to go after Ilgauskas after the kick. Sam got his offense going in the 4th and finished with 13 points and 2 rebounds. Rondo played just 30 minutes and it seemed that he sat on the bench a little too long in the 4th quarter.
Team defense was the story in this game. Ray and Pierce won't shoot this poorly in the next game, but then neither will LeBron. One concern after this game is that James Posey was shaken up quite a bit on one play and he was holding his side after the game. Hopefully he will be ok because the Celtics are going to need his defense in this series more than ever. Next game will be Thursday at 7:00PM.