Celtics Live Blog: C’s Blow Out Cavs in Second Half, Take 3-2 Series Lead


Celtics Live Blog: C's Blow Out Cavs in Second Half, Take 3-2 Series LeadFinal: Celtics 120, Cavaliers 88. 
It's over, and it's official — the Celtics are headed home to Boston with a 3-2 series lead.

Ray Allen finishes with 25 points, Paul Pierce adds 21 and Kevin Garnett chips in 18. Just a monster night for the Celtics' Big Three, who have pushed the Cavaliers to the brink of elimination.

LeBron James goes without a basket until the mid-third quarter, finishing with just 15 points. It's one of the worst postseason games of his career.

The Celtics will have a chance to finish the Cavs and move on to the Eastern Conference finals with Game 6 on their home floor. The C's and Cavs meet up at the TD Garden on Thursday night.

Fourth quarter, 2:53, Celtics 110-83: Pierce throws a ridiculous pump fake at Jamario Moon, sending him flying out of sight and getting a wide-open look at a 3. Swish.

At 27, the Celtics have their biggest lead of any game in this series. Only a matter of time before they finish the deal and head home to Boston up 3-2.

Fourth quarter, 5:05, Celtics 100-75: The Celtics are over the century mark already, and they've got more than five minutes left to play.

Unbelievably, Glen Davis has as many fourth-quarter points (12) as the Cavaliers' entire team. Pierce and Rondo have chipped in a bit as well, and the Celtics continue to run away with it.

More and more empty seats at the Q. What a devastating night for Cleveland.

Fourth quarter, 8:16, Celtics 92-68: All right, time to call this one. Game, set, match. The Celtics have it in the bag.

Unless a meteor hits Quicken Loans Arena, and fast, you're looking at a 3-2 series lead for the Celtics. The Cavs are getting desperate and tossing up 3s, and nothing's falling. They look resigned to their fates.

This crowd at the Q is completely dead.

Remember, there's an outside chance they're watching LeBron James don the Cavalier white for the last time. That can't sit well with the Cavs diehards.

Fourth quarter, 10:04, Celtics 87-64: Thanks to a five-point push from a once-quiet Glen Davis, the Celtics have their biggest lead of the game.

Big Baby is doing more than just bringing the energy — he's really coming alive offensively.

The C's are ready to close this thing out.

End of third quarter, Celtics 80-63: Paul Pierce now has 16 points. It's his highest output of the series.

Ray and Rondo have hogged the spotlight in this third quarter, but the reawakening of Pierce offensively is a huge sign for the Celtics going forward. If he can keep the aggression flowing, the Celtics can finish off not only tonight's game, but this second-round playoff series.

Things look grim for the Cavaliers, who can't be looking forward to an elimination Game 6 in Boston.

Third quarter, 3:02, Celtics 73-55: LeBron finally comes up with a basket, but it's not nearly enough to wake the Cavs up. The C's are streaking away with this one again.

The biggest development of the third quarter for the Celtics is Rajon Rondo, who has found his aggressive side again. He's gone from zero points to nine in a hurry, and with a little help from the sharp-shooting Ray, the C's have widened their lead.

This is pretty unbelievable — the Celtics are on the verge of going up 3-2 in this series. They just need to stay focused for another 15 minutes.

Third quarter, 6:33, Celtics 65-50: Still not a single field goal for LeBron James. No wonder the Cavaliers look so lost.

It's pretty sad for the Cavs when Shaquille O'Neal is the only weapon they have working offensively. Shaq is now 5-of-9 from the floor and has a team-high 13 points, but it hasn't been nearly enough. The Cavs are in deep trouble.

Third quarter, 9:05, Celtics 60-46: Rondo finally has his first two points of this game, but the big story of the third quarter so far is the Celtics' other guard, Ray Allen.

Ray has now hit four 3-pointers in this game, including two this quarter, and the C's have charged out to a double-digit lead behind his hot shooting.

The fans at Quicken Loans Arena are very, very displeased. With good reason. The Celtics have taken control of this game.

Halftime, Celtics 50-44: We've reached the break, and we've still seen zero combined field goals from LeBron James and Rajon Rondo. Unbelievable.

For the Celtics, it's been all about the Big Three. Pierce, Allen and KG have combined for 39 of the Celtics' 50 points, nearly outscoring the Cavaliers all by themselves. Not too shabby a night for the old guys.

For the Cavs, here's a bizarre stat: LeBron, who hasn't yet made a basket, is the Cavs' leading scorer in the first half. Eight free throws, eight points.

The C's are in good shape with 24 minutes left to play, but they've got to maintain the consistent effort.

Second quarter, 3:22, Celtics 37-32: The Celtics let loose a 16-0 run, finally brought to a halt by a pair of free throws from LeBron James. The C's are in control now.

What's worked best for them in this second quarter? Besides the obvious strong shooting of Pierce and KG, it's their hard work on every single possession defensively. They're contesting every Cleveland shot, and a whole lot of them are missing.

Doc's job is to make sure no one gets complacent. The tough D is working for the Celtics, but they've got to make sure they keep it up.

Second quarter, 6:22, Cavs 29-26: This is Bizzaro Game 5. LeBron James is 0-for-2 from the field; Rajon Rondo is 0-for-2 as well. Both guys have been complete non-factors in this game.

It's become a battle of the two supporting casts, and the Celtics are holding their own. Paul Pierce leads all scorers in tonight's game with nine points, although he's had to force a whopping 11 shots to get there.

The Cavs are hoping they can win the war inside with Shaq and Jamison. So far, that's what's been working.

Second quarter, 9:44, Cavs 29-21: The Celtics just can't buy a basket. It's now an 8-1 run for the surging Cavaliers, and the C's haven't scored in nearly five minutes.

Doc Rivers calls a timeout. He's got to keep his guys composed — they're executing well and getting good looks, but the shots aren't falling.

The best tactic for Doc here is to change absolutely nothing. The C's can definitely right the ship if they keep working. Not time to panic yet.

End of first quarter, Cavs 23-20: It didn't take long. We're already seeing the oft-hyped defensive matchup between LeBron James and Rajon Rondo.

Just as LeBron himself insinuated after Sunday's Game 4, there are only certain very specific situations where the matchup can work. The Cavaliers have to have a big lineup on the floor, because there's no way you can stick a little guard like Mo Williams or Delonte West on the physical Paul Pierce.

Right now we're seeing LeBron on Rondo and Jamario Moon, a physical forward in his own right, on Pierce. That can work temporarily, but Moon's only been playing seven or eight minutes a game in this series. Can't stick with this lineup all night.

First quarter, 3:04, Celtics 18-16: What were the odds that the Celtics would have a lead after nine minutes despite zero points, zero assists and zero rebounds from Rajon Rondo?

Triple-zero from their point guard notwithstanding, the Celtics have worked their way back into this game on the strength of their Big Three. Pierce, KG and now Ray Allen are all hitting their shots, and the Celtics look like they don't even need to win the battle inside. Just keep gunning.

First quarter, 6:28, Cavs 10-6: The Celtics are settling for a whole lot of jump shots early. That can't be good.

So far, the Cavs are doing a much better job than the visiting Celtics at working the ball inside and getting high-percentage looks at the basket. Both Jamison and Shaquille O'Neal have got it working early.

KG and Paul Pierce are looking to carry most of the scoring load in this one. Not a lot going on for the Celtics' guards, surprising given the monster Game 4 we saw from Rajon Rondo.

First quarter, 9:22, Cavs 6-2: Big question for the Cavs in Game 5: Can they get Antawn Jamison to turn it on?

So far, it looks like the answer is yes, and that could be huge. Jamison knocks down a couple of jumpers early, and the Cavs grab an early lead.

The matchup between Jamison and Kevin Garnett will be key. Can KG outwork Jamison inside, getting key buckets in the paint? Or can Jamison do his part from the perimeter to help the Cavs win this crucial Game 5?

9:29 a.m.: On Sunday afternoon at the TD Garden, the Celtics got even. Now, they'll look to get ahead.

After evening their Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Cavaliers at two games apiece, the Celtics now fly to Cleveland for a crucial Game 5 showdown that may well decide who goes on to face the Orlando Magic in the East finals.

It's been reduced to a best-of-three set from here on out, and whoever gets this first one will have a huge advantage. We'll see if Rajon Rondo can throw down another epic triple-double to carry the Celtics, or if LeBron James can lead the Cavaliers back.

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