The Boston Celtics appeared as if they had gone back in time to their NBA Championship season of 2008 on Saturday night as Kevin Garnett racked up a double-double with a game high 28 points and Paul Pierce scored another 27, as the Celtics pummeled the Miami Heat at the “New Garden” by a final score of 97-81. The victory in their own arena was the first in the second round series for the Celtics after dropping the first two games of the match-up in Miami. Boston would take the contest over in the third as they held their opponents to just 15 points in 12 minutes of play.
Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo dislocated his left elbow in the game’s first quarter but would have it snapped back into place by team trainer Ed Lacerte and went back onto the court to run the team in the fourth. Rondo would despite the injury dish off 11 assists in his club’s victory. Dwyane Wade scored 23 points to lead the way for the Heat while LeBron James added 15 points in the loss.
The Celtics would hold the lead at the end of the first as Shaquille O’Neal playing in his first Post Season game this year after being sidelined with a strained calf hit a bucket with 1:08 left in the period, putting his team on top 27-21 heading into the second. Miami made a run in the second quarter and would hold the lead as the game reached the half with the score 46-44.
Boston would ratchet up their intensity on both ends of the floor as they took the court again in the third. Garnett would explode for 14 points in the period while the Celtics shut the Heat down offensively and when the smoke cleared at the end of the quarter Boston was firmly in charge holding a 72-61 advantage. The Celtics would maintain a double-digit lead for the entire fourth quarter and would win the game with ease.
Garnett recorded a double-double with 28 points, 18 boards, 2 steals and 1 assist while Pierce had 27 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Ray Allen scored 15 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds while Delonte West came off the bench with 11 points and had 3 assists.
Wade scored 23 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, a block and a steal while James had 15 points, 7 rebounds, 5 blocks, 4 assists and 2 steals. Mario Chalmers came off the bench with 17 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals while Joel Anthony had a double-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds a block and a steal. Miami leads the series 2-1 with game four to be played in Boston on Monday.