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Final: Celtics 96-86

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  April 27, 2010 07:23 PM

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Final, Celtics 96-86 The Heat cut the Celtics' lead to 73-70 with 10:14 left but the Celtics' offense kept hitting big shots and the Heat had no runs left. The Celtics advance to meet either Cleveland or Chicago. Ray Allen finishes with 24 points and Paul Pierce added 21.

Fourth quarter, 1:18, Celtics 96-86 The Heat cut the lead to 8 points after a Mario Chalmers 3-pointer but Paul Pierce counters with a jumper that rolls through, putting the Heat in a difficult position. Heat ball. Dwyane Wade has 31 points and Mario Chalmers has 20 for Miami.

Fourth quarter, 2:42, Celtics 91-80 Paul Pierce missed two of three free throws but the Celtics have the ball and need to make their free throws to hang on. Dwyane Wade has 28 points but has not been a factor in the last few minutes.

Fourth quarter, 5:34, Celtics 88-76 Kevin Garnett just hit a big jumper and Dwyane Wade missed a 3-pointer (he's 2 for 6) as the Celtics are trying to milk the clock and advance to the second round. Pierce has 18 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.

Fourth quarter, 6:20, Celtics 86-76 The Celtics have scored the last four points, the final bucket a Paul Pierce layup as they try to hold on against the Heat, who have played well since falling behind 21.

Fourth quarter, 9:21, Celtics 79-72 Celtics offense is beginning to figure out the aggressive Miami defense and score points but Ray Allen has five fouls and he is the only one of the Big Three that's scoring right now. Dwyane Wade has 28 points, 17 in the second half while Mario Chalmers has 15 for the Heat.

End of the third quarter, Celtics 71-65Heat end the quarter on a 19-4 run, stifling the Celtics offense while getting good contributions from Mario Chalmers, who had nine points during the run. Dwyane Wade has 21 points and he canned two 3-pointers during the surge. The Celtics committed four turnovers in the quarter and scored four points in the final 6:56.

Third quarter, 330, Celtics 69-59 strong>Third quarter, 2:48, Celtics 69-59 The Heat are on a 13-2 run after falling behind by 21and the Celtics are playing sloppy basketball after a stellar first half of the third quarter. This game is not over. Dwyane Wade has 7 of Miami's 21 points in the quarter. Mario Chalmers has hit two 3-pointers off the bench.

Third quarter, 7:23, Celtics 65-46 Ray Allen has hit consecutive 3-pointers and the Celtics are trying to put Miami in a serious hole. Allen has 13 and is 3-for-3 from the 3-point line. Paul Pierce leads Boston with 16 while Dwyane Wade has 13 on 5-for-13 shooting.

End of second quarter, Celtics 48-38: The Heat cut the Celtics lead down to 44-38, with through free throws and Dwayne Wade, who made tough lay-up and stretched for a tip-in. But the Celtics stretched it back out to double-digits with Pierce using a couple fakes to get a finger roll off and Rondo getting to the line. Miami's shooting 34.9 percent from floor. The Celtics have knocked down 19 of their 40 shots. At one point the Heat had taken seven more free throws than the Cs, but the Celtics attacked toward the end of the half, knockind down 9 of their 10 attempts. The Celtics are winning the battle on the glass (24-20) in the paint (26-18) and on the fast break (8-2).

Second quarter, 3:48, Celtics 42-30 Quentin Richardson fouled Paul Pierce chasing down a loose ball and all he could do was shake their head. They were down 10 before Pierce knocked down both free throws, they're in the Celtics gym and maybe he's starting to sense it. Erik Spoelstra called a timeout. Undoubtedly, there's some motivational speaking going on.

Second Quarter, 4:54 Celtics 37-29: Dwyane Wade hasn't gotten anything close to a clean look at the basket, if he doesn't have an extra defender like Paul Pierce shooting at him, then the Celtics are converging on him like a beartrap when he drives the lane. He's gone to the free throw line four times (3 of 4) but he's 2 of 6 from the floor.

Second quarter, 6:10, Celtics 33-29: Kendrick Perkins was just whistled for a tech after swinging an elbow at Jermaine O'Neal as they scrapped for a rebound under the Heat basket. Mario Chalmers missed the ensuing free throws.

Second Quarter, 7:31 Celtics 33-25: Miami's shooting percentage continues to dive (it was as low as 37.9 percent). Dwyane Wade hasn't been able to put his fingerprints on the game yet. Meanwhile Paul Pierce is swatting shots and making hustle plays, trying to put the series away.

End of first quarter, Celtics 29-17: The Celtics close the quarter on a 13-4 run, and they've done a nice job of not letting Dwyane Wade get into a rhythm early. He's only taken four shots, knocking down two of them. He's had to rely on a supporting cast that's missed 10 of their 17 shots. Biggest difference: Quentin Richardson is 1 of 4 to start the game. He scored 13 points in the first quarter of Game 4.

First quarter 2:38, Celtics 23-17: Miami calls a timeout to take a deep breath after a Celtics rush. Paul Pierce swished a 3-pointer from the wing, then got to the rim for a tough lay-up. Then, Kendick Perkins was a the beneficiary of good ball movement, as Rajon Rondo paused on the break, dropped one down to KG who dropped another one to Perk for a huge two-hand flush that capped a 7-0 run.

First quarter 5:07: Heat 15-14: The Celtics are shooting 70 percent with Rondo leading the way (6 points on 3 of 3 shooting), bu turnovers have been the story again early with four of them costing the Cs 6 points.

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