For a while it appeared that the Miami Heat just might corner the Boston Celtics into a three games to none corner on Saturday night. As a matter of fact, the Heat looked like the superior team once again for the first half.
Then the second half started. And with the second half, Miami's game went downhill.
LeBron James continued to settle for jump shots, and when he did get in the lane he failed to finish. Chris Bosh never woke up, only collecting five rebounds on the night and struggling offensively. Those five boards were the lowest out of Miami's big three.
The Heat's only consistent bright spots were once again Dwyane Wade, who continued his stellar play, and also Mario Chalmers, who shot the ball extremely well. Wade put up 23 points and Chalmers was the Heat's second leading scorer with 17.
Joel Anthony also had an unusually strong night offensively, adding 12 of his own points.
There were points when play got a little bit chippy, particularly in the third quarter when Wade and Rajon Rondo got tangled up and ended up on the floor, resulting in a dislocated elbow for Rondo. Rondo would courageously return and play through the pain.
Many Celtics fans viewed the play as a "dirty" one by Wade, which is quite puzzling. The two players simply got tangled up, and Rondo wound up under a much bigger and heavier Wade. Even Bill Simmons, probably the biggest Celtics homer to walk this earth, defended the Heat guard on this one.
Wade offered these comments on the issue after the game.
"You never want to see anyone get hurt. Kudos to him for coming back. Hopefully, Monday, he's back."
Not Looking Back
As disappointing as it may be for Heat fans that Miami will not have a shot at a sweep, it must be realized that all is not lost. Most knew that it was going to be very, very tough for Miami to steal this first game on Boston's home court. They had to execute perfectly all game and they clearly did not. Boston wanted this game more, plain and simple.
However, the fact is that Miami still has a chance to do what it needs to do, and that's steal one game away from home. If they can accomplish that on Monday night, Saturday's struggles will be no more than a distant memory.
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