Early in his career Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James told a reporter he was not sure if he had that “Killer Instinct.” After Wednesday night all doubts of his possessing the ability to break the backs of his opponents should disappear for the rest of eternity as James led the Heat past the Boston Celtics 97-87; winning the second round series in five games and propelling them to the Eastern Conference Finals. James scored 33 points in the contest and brought Miami from behind in the closing moments to send the Celtics home for the summer. Dwyane Wade led all players as he recorded a double-double with 34 points in the win for the Heat.
It would be the second straight game that the Celtics gave away the contest to Miami in the fourth quarter as they would once again settle for low percentage outside shots rather than penetrating to the hole. The game slipped away from them in the closing moments as once again they committed a series of unforgivable turnovers that would end their season a lot earlier than they wanted it to. Boston’s defensive effort and the contributions from the bench had them on pace to extend the series but it would all fall apart down the stretch.
The Celtics came out strong in the first while Miami looked like they needed a road map to find the basket in their own arena. Nenad Krstic hit a pair at the charity stripe with 29 seconds remaining putting his team on top 24-16 at the end of the period. The Heat found their shooting touch during the second and reduced their deficit significantly during the quarter. Wade knocked down an outside jumper with four seconds to play and as the game reached the half Boston would head into the locker room ahead by just two points at 49-47.
Boston took control of the flow of the game early in the third but Miami would come back and take the lead at 66-65 as Wade split a pair at the line with 3:12 on the clock. Momentum would shift back to the Celtics down the stretch however as Krstic hit a mid-range jumper with 32 seconds left in the period giving his team a 73-71 edge as time expired.
It looked as if the Celtics were going to survive to play game six at home with 3:43 left in the contest when the roof started to cave in. James Jones drained a 24 foot trey cutting the Celtics lead to just two points then Chris Bosh tied the game at 87-87 as he slammed the rock through the hole with 2:57 remaining. It was at that point that James took the game over knocking down two straight treys and then finished the job two more clutch baskets. Boston never scored another point and the Heat would go on to win the game and the second round series.
Dwyane Wade had a game high 34 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and four steals in the victory. James scored 33 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, a block and a steal while Chris Bosh also had a double-double with 14 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists and a block.
Ray Allen scored 18 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals while Kevin Garnett recorded a double-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block. Paul Pierce added 12 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds while Delonte West had yet another strong game off the bench with 10 points and 2 rebounds. Miami now awaits the winner of the series between the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks to find out whom they will match-up against in the Eastern Conference Finals.