Celtics upset Heat in Game 5, can close series Thursday

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Celtics upset Heat in Game 5, can close series Thursday

MIAMI For a change, the Boston Celtics have not taken the path of greatest resistance, rallying for a critical 94-90 Game 5 victory over the Miami Heat.

With the win, Boston leads the best-of-seven series 3-2 and can move on to the NBA Finals with a Game 6 win at the Garden on Thursday.

The final points of the night were scored by Kevin Garnett, who rebounded from a slow start to finish with a team-high 26 points.

Boston, which trailed by as many as 13 points, closed out the third quarter with a 15-1 run to lead, 65-60, going into the fourth.

The Celtics fell behind 78-72 in the fourth, but went on a 9-2 run sparked by a 3-pointer from Mickael Pietrus and capped off by a baseline jumper from Garnett with 2:54 to play.

Pietrus would come up with a slew of big shots for Boston, as he finished with 13 points off the bench.

Boston made all the plays down the stretch, a sharp contrast from how they began the game.

The Celtics struggled rebounding the ball in the first half, but their strong play defensively didn't allow the C's struggles on the boards to hurt them too badly.

That would not be the case in the fourth, as a Dwyane Wade rebound and uncontested put-back basket cut Boston's lead to 70-69 with 9:06 to play.

At the half, Boston trailed 29-20 on the boards and was out-rebounded, 49-39, for the game.

Despite their struggles, the C's were within striking distance, trailing just 42-40 at the half.

Even with a nine-rebound deficit, the Celtics were tied in second-chance points (10) with the Heat, and actually had more points in the paint (22-20). Even more bizarre was it was the Celtics, not the more athletic Heat, that had the edge in fast-break points (7-4).

Boston's dfense was what kept them in the game, as they forced Miami into committing 11 first-half turnovers that resulted in nine points.

Miami was led by LeBron James, whose 18 points came on 7-for-12 shooting. His one-man dominance of the game was reminiscent to what he did for so many years in Cleveland.

And in the role of Mo Williams was Wade, who had seven points at the half on 3-for-9 shooting in the first half. He finished with 27 points on 10-for-22 shooting.

Aside from James, the most important player for Miami was Chris Bosh who returned to the Heat lineup after missing the previous nine games with a abdominal strain injury. He came off the bench in the first half to score nine points to go with six rebounds. He would only grab one rebound in the second half and finished with nine points and seven rebounds.

Brian Scalabrine thinks Celtics, Pacers, Cavaliers could swing deal sending Kevin love to Boston, Paul George to Cleveland

Brian Scalabrine thinks Celtics, Pacers, Cavaliers could swing deal sending Kevin love to Boston, Paul George to Cleveland

Though the Celtics spent Thursday discussing a trade with the Pacers for Paul George, Brian Scalabrine still has designs on the C’s getting Kevin Love. 

Scalabrine says he could imagine the Celtics landing Love from the Cavaliers in a three-way deal that would sent George to the Cleveland. He noted that Love won’t be as difficult to acquire as he was when Cleveland traded for him in 2014, though he said he wasn’t sure if Boston would have to include recently drafted third overall pick Jayson Tatum. 

With that said, Scalabrine intimated that the sides have the assets that a deal between the teams would make sense. 

“I’m saying, we’d all look at the deal and be like, ‘Yeah. All right,'” Scalabrine said.

A four-time All-Star, Love will turn 29 in September.
 

Celtics engaged in talks with Pacers for Paul George

Celtics engaged in talks with Pacers for Paul George

BOSTON – Jayson Tatum was all smiles after hearing his named called by NBA commissioner Adam Silver as the number 3 pick by Boston in Thursday night’s NBA draft.

And as he made his way towards the commissioner and put on the customary Celtics hat, a bright future surely awaited him.

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But is it going to be in Boston?

CSNNE.com confirmed an earlier report by Yahoo Sports! the Vertical that the Celtics were indeed engaged in trade talks with the Indiana Pacers for Paul George.

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is no stranger to taking chances that most GMs would not consider or take a pass on.

Trading for George, who informed the Pacers that he would not re-sign a long-term deal with them and would instead prefer to play for the Los Angeles Lakers when he hits free agency in the summer of 2018, is a huge risk.

While the particulars of the possible trade are still being discussed, Boston will likely have to include the number three pick – Jayson Tatum – in a deal for George.

Ainge appears willing to gamble that a season in Boston will be enough to convince George to re-sign a long-term deal in the summer of 2018 which would be a win-win in terms of bolstering their chances to compete with Cleveland for Eastern Conference supremacy, and keep him away from the Lakers.