Celtics-Heat Game 4 review: C's out-size when it counts

Celtics-Heat Game 4 review: C's out-size when it counts
June 4, 2012, 6:09 am
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BOSTON The Miami Heat made a lineup change, inserting Joel Anthony into the starting lineup in place of Ronny Turiaf.

Anthony certainly provided them a tougher inside presence defensively on Kevin Garnett, in addition to helping them outscore the Celtics 48-38 on points in the paint.

But the Celtics still managed to use their size advantage well enough to win the one category that counts the most - points scored - as Boston edged Miami, 93-91, in overtime.

And that size made an impact offensively when it mattered most, the fourth quarter and overtime.

Those were the only quarters during the game in which the Celtics were not outscored in points in the paint. In the fourth, Boston had a 10-8 advantage and in overtime, they each had two points.

Boston's ability to get timely baskets in the paint was just one of the many keys to their Game 4 win that ties this best-of-seven series at 2-2. Here are other factors outlined earlier, and how those factors actually played out.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Coming off a free-throw less Game 3, Miami will look to establish Dwyane Wade early. That'll be a huge departure from what he has done to start the first three games. In those three games, Wade has scored a total of six points in the first quarter. "I'm a patient person, so eventually things will hopefully loosen up and I get opportunities where I can attack and get into a rhythm a little more," Wade said.

WHAT WE SAW: Wade was able to get to the line, converting four of his five free throws as part of his 20 point game. But Wade shot 7-for-22 from the field, and struggled with his shot - and to make an impact - for long stretches all game.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Celtics Bench vs. Heat bench: Each game in this series has featured the winning team getting a big game by someone off the bench of the winning team. In Games One and Two, it was Miami's Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem, respectively, stepping up with strong play. In Boston's Game 3 win, the Celtics got scoring and good defense from Keyon Dooling and Marquis Daniels. Tonight's game will likely be decided by which second unit makes a greater impact.
WHAT WE SAW: Even though Miami's second unit had twice (22) as many points as Boston's bench, there was no mistaking that Boston's backups - Keyon Dooling specifically - were game-changers. Dooling had 10 points which included 3-of-4 shooting on 3's. "I just try to help in any category I can," Dooling told CSNNE.com.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Between Rajon Rondo putting up unprecedented numbers and Kevin Garnett's double-doubles, Ray Allen has steadily moved closer to looking and playing like the Ray Allen of old. He had 13 points in Boston's Game Three win which included a one-handed, driving dunk - the kind of play a guy with a bum right ankle probably isn't going to do unless he's feeling pretty good. "It was a little surprise," Allen said. "Yeah, feeling pretty good."

WHAT WE SAW: Ray Allen turned in another strong performance, scoring 16 points on 6-for-16 shooting which included four 3-pointers, the most he has hit in a playoff game this season. "Just my legs, they've gotten better," Allen said.

STAT TO TRACK: Miami has been one of the best all season at converting turnovers into points, evident by them ranking No. 2 in the NBA in points (17) off turnovers. But the Celtics have been able to either win or be relatively close in all three games primarily behind their ability to limit their mistakes and in turn, minimize the damage that they can cause. In three games, the C's are giving up an average of 10 points per game off turnovers. Meanwhile, the Celtics are scoring 11 points per game off turnovers in this series. For the playoffs, they are tied for ninth in that category with 14 points off turnovers per game.

WHAT WE SAW: Boston turned the ball over 15 times which led to 13 points for the Heat. While it was a factor, it wasn't by any means a game-changer.