Celtics-Heat: Six stats for Game 6

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Celtics-Heat: Six stats for Game 6

The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat will face off in a critical Game 6 on Thursday night at TD Garden. The Celtics lead the Eastern Conference series, 3-2, after winning the last three games including a key victory in Miami in Game 5. Here are six stats to keep in mind for this Game 6 battle.

1) The Celtics will play Game 6 on Thursday, June 7. The Cs are 1-0 on that day of the week. They eliminated the Atlanta Hawks in the first round on Thursday, April 26. The last time the Celtics played on June 7 was during the 1987 NBA Finals. They defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 109-103, in Game 3 at the Boston Garden.

2) With a win over the Heat in Game 5, the Celtics improved to 9-0 this postseason when leading or tied after the third quarter. They have not consistently maintained halftime leads (7-5 when up or tied after two), but once they get ahead in the third, they have never faltered. In contrast, they are 2-7 when trailing after three.

3) How Important are Fast Starts? If youre going by the stats, jumping out early hasnt made that much of a difference. The Celtics are 5-3 in the playoffs when they have a leadare tied after the first quarter, and are similarly 6-4 when behind after one.

4) Forget about the century mark, reaching 90 points for the Celtics has been key. They are 8-1 when scoring 90 or more points and 3-6 when posting 89 or less. The Heat are actually averaging 0.4 points more per game than the Celtics in the series, but over the Cs last three wins, they are outscoring the Heat, 96.0 points to 90.1.

5) Rajon Rondo has moved up NBA postseason assist leader rankings during the Celtics run. He is currently ranked 19th all-time in NBA postseason dimes (821) and fifth among active players. He needs just five assists to pass Celtics Hall of Famer John Havlicek and Chauncey Billups for 17th on the all-time list.

What is more noteworthy is how quickly Rondo has accumulated the dimes, appearing in just his fifth postseason. Take a look at how he compares to those near him on the active leader charts.

1. Jason Kidd: 1239 assists, 16 postseasons
2. Steve Nash: 1052 assists, 11 postseasons
3. Kobe Bryant: 1040 assists, 15 postseasons
4. Chauncey Billups: 825 assists, 11 postseasons
5. Rajon Rondo: 821 assists, 5 postseasons
6. Tony Parker: 777 assists, 11 postseasons
7. LeBron James: 728 assists, 7 postseasons
8. Tim Duncan: 640 assists, 14 postseasons
9. Derek Fisher: 570 assists, 14 postseasons
10. Dwyane Wade: 550 assists, 8 postseasons

6) Will LeBron Deliver? LeBron James is 1-3 in his last four Game 6 appearances in which his team has trailed in the series, 3-2. See how James has performed in similar Game 6 situations, including two previous games in Boston.

Game 6: 2011 NBA Finals
Dallas Mavericks 105 Miami Heat 95
(Mavs won NBA title)
James: 40 minutes, 21 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists

Game 6: 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals
Boston Celtics 94 Cleveland Cavaliers 85
(Celtics moved on to Conference Finals)
James: 46 minutes, 27 points, 19 rebounds, 10 assists

Game 6: 2009 Eastern Conference Finals
Orlando Magic 103 Cleveland Cavaliers 90
(Magic advanced to NBA Finals)
James: 45 minutes, 25 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists

Game 6: 2008 Eastern Conference Semifinals
Cleveland Cavaliers 74 Boston Celtics 69
(Cavs forced a Game 7, which the Celtics won)
James: 47 minutes, 32 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists

Isaiah Thomas continues to claim Celtics' franchise records

Isaiah Thomas continues to claim Celtics' franchise records

BOSTON – This continues to be a historic season for Isaiah Thomas as more records fell in Wednesday’s 103-100 loss to Milwaukee, and the company he’s keeping becomes even more exclusive. 

Thomas had a game-high 32 points on Wednesday which included five made 3’s on nine attempts. That gave him 223 for the season which is a new franchise single-season record for made 3-pointers. The previous record was 222 set by Antoine Walker during the 2001-2002 season.

And his 32 points scored gives him 2,012 this season. 

Only six players in franchise history (Paul Pierce was the last to do it during the 2005-2006 season) have scored 2,000 or more points in a single season. 

Oh, there’s more. 

With Wednesday being the 66th time this season he has had 20 or more points, Thomas has now tied Pierce (2005-2006) and Larry Bird (1985-1986; 1987-1988) for sixth on the Celtics’ single-season franchise list. 

“I didn’t even know that,” a visibly disappointed Thomas said following Wednesday’s loss. “It doesn’t feel that good right now. But when I look back on it, probably in the offseason, I’ll appreciate it a little more. But I’m just staying in the moment and try and play as best I can to lead this team to as many wins as possible.”

Other season milestones Thomas is in the mix for include the following:

  • The 5-foot-9 guard is one of three players this season to have 50 or more games of 25-plus points, joined by Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook (57) and Houston’s James Harden (54).
  • Thomas has made at least one 3-pointer in a franchise-record 50 straight games (Dec. 3 – March 29). That’s also the longest current streak in the NBA. 
  • With 66 games of 20 or more points this season, Thomas is second in the NBA to Westbrook (67).

Marcus Smart at center of yet another controversial call

Marcus Smart at center of yet another controversial call

BOSTON – One of the more bizarre plays in Boston’s 103-100 loss to Milwaukee came in the second quarter, requiring some explanation from the officials afterwards. 

With 3:55 to play in the second quarter, the officials had originally called a foul on Marcus Smart which he verbally protested that eventually led to him being whistled for a technical foul. 

After the officials reviewed the play, they changed the call to a personal foul against Khris Middleton but no change to the called technical foul against Smart who objected to a call that, upon review, they agreed was the wrong call to make. 

Official Sean Corbin, through pool reporter Ken Powtak of the Associated Press, acknowledged that the original call was a loose ball foul against Smart. 

“The (officiating) crew got together, we met prior to video and we decided that we needed to look at video because both players were on the floor bleeding so we went to the video for a hostile act,” Corbin told Powtak. “In the review we noticed that Khris Middleton initially made contact to Marcus Smart’s face. That’s how the original contact to the play occurred.”

Fortunately for the Celtics, Middleton missed his technical free throw while Smart split a pair of free throws which cut Milwaukee’s lead to 49-40.

Still, that’s no consolation for Smart who was whistled for a technical foul on a play that the official acknowledged was the wrong call to make. 

In the fourth quarter, Smart was at the center of yet another controversial call that was also reviewed by the officials. The verdict wasn't nearly as good for Smart who was whistled for a flagrant foul after getting his feet tangled up with Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo who was called for a non-shooting foul in the play with 4:46 to play. 

Antetokounmpo made one of two free throws and on the Bucks' ensuing possession, he was called for traveling.

Smart was unavailable to talk after the game in part because the aforementioned incident left an abrasion to his mouth and, because of the technical foul, a little lighter in the wallet as well.