C's 'go-to guy' shows up at buzzer in Miami

C's 'go-to guy' shows up at buzzer in Miami
November 10, 2013, 12:00 pm
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So, this is what your best player coming through in the clutch looks like.

Jeff Green, knocking down the kind of shot with no time left on Saturday that would always get you a letter in a game of H.O.R.S.E., helped lift the Celtics to a seemingly improbable 111-110 victory over Miami.

Any time you hit a game-winning shot, it's a big deal.

But Green, who led all Celtics with 24 points, was quick to point out that this game-winner was at best the second biggest shot he hit in the NBA.

Topping his list was the game-winning lay-up at Cleveland in March, a game that was attended by Dr. Lars Svensson, who performed heart surgery on Green, as well as on former Celtic Chris Wilcox.

Still, the baseline 3-pointer on one leg with no time left, on the road at Miami with LeBron James draped over you?


That's a pretty big shot as well.

"My teammates once again put me in position to win the game," Green told reporters after the win.

Actually, Green put himself in position to win.

Despite his repeated proclamations about wanting to be the Celtics' "go-to" guy, Green has been like Casper the Friendly Ghost in the fourth quarter of most games.

In the Celtics' previous six games, Green was 3-for-17 shooting in the fourth quarter while scoring a total of nine points.

On Saturday, he was doing a much better job at searching out the ball. And his teammates in turn made getting him the ball a much bigger priority.

Green had 10 points in the fourth on 3-for-6 shooting, which included the winner.

While some may have been caught off guard by Green's performance, it's actually becoming a pretty common thing for him when he faces Miami.

Against the Heat, Green is a career 15.8 points per game scorer, which is his third-highest scoring average against an NBA team.

Even more significant has been Green's play of late against Miami. In his two games prior to Saturday night, Green averaged 34 points against the Heat which included a career-high 43 points last March.

"They are the best team," Green said. "You gotta get up playing against these guys."

Like the rest of the Celtics, Green's ability to play with a certain level of consistency will go far in Boston's efforts to continue building on the success they have enjoyed lately.

And while the Celtics certainly had a more enjoyable plane ride back home following the win, they know that there's still plenty of room to improve.

"We just want to keep taking steps forward," said Avery Bradley who had a season-high 17 points on Saturday. "That's what we did [Saturday night]."

And those steps forward become a lot easier to take when you're best player comes through in the clutch.