Celtics Still in Driver’s Seat With Series-Clincher on Home Court

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April 27, 2010

Celtics Still in Driver's Seat With Series-Clincher on Home Court Just when the Celtics thought this was all over and it was on to the second round, Dwyane Wade decided to step up and play the game of his life, exploding for 46 points and leading the Miami Heat back from the brink of death.

The Heat stole Game 4 back in Miami on Sunday afternoon, but they've got a long way to go. Come Tuesday night, the Celtics will be back in Boston with another chance to polish off the Heat and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals. But D-Wade won't die quietly.

When and Where

Celtics vs. Heat
Tuesday, April 27, 7 p.m. (NBATV, CSNE)
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.

Head to Head

Finally, after six attempts and six failures, the Heat got their first win of the season over Boston on Sunday. They lost three in the regular season and three in the playoffs until finally getting over the hump in Game 4.

Key Matchup

Ray Allen vs. Dwyane Wade
As this series goes on, Wade just keeps getting better … and Allen just keeps getting older. Game 4 on Sunday afternoon showed the contrast perfectly — Wade came through in crunch time, scoring 19 points in the fourth quarter and carrying his team to victory, while Allen crumbled in the final minutes and missed three key free throws. If Wade is on again in Game 5, the Heat have a shot at this thing; if Allen comes ready to slow him down and hits a couple shots of his own, the Celtics can finish the deal.

Starting Lineups

Celtics
Point guard: Rajon Rondo
Shooting guard: Ray Allen
Small forward: Paul Pierce
Power forward: Kevin Garnett
Center: Kendrick Perkins

Heat
Point guard: Carlos Arroyo
Shooting guard: Dwyane Wade
Small forward: Quentin Richardson
Power forward: Michael Beasley
Center: Jermaine O'Neal

Stat Sheet

Celtics

  • Ray Allen went 2-for-5 from the free-throw line in Game 4, making his first two shots but missing his last three. He hadn't missed three consecutive free throws in a playoff game since May 17, 2005.
  • Rajon Rondo has averaged 14.5 points, 9.8 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game in this series.
  • Kendrick Perkins has career averages of 7.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game against the Heat.

Heat

  • Dwyane Wade shot 16-of-24 from the field, 5-of-7 from 3-point range and 9-of-14 from the free-throw line in Game 4. He finished with 46 points, an NBA-best so far this postseason and a personal playoff career high.
  • Quentin Richardson had 20 points in Game 4. His career playoff high of 22 came in his first career playoff game, the Suns' playoff opener against the Grizzlies on April 24, 2005.
  • Michael Beasley is averaging 12.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in this series.

Black and Blue

Celtics

  • The Celtics are the healthiest they've been all year.

Heat

  • Dwyane Wade has fought through minor leg cramps to lead the Heat back into this series.

    Outlook

    Slow and steady wins the race. The Celtics can't come out trying to win the game in the opening minutes — they've got to play smart, confident, well-paced basketball. Good defense, good ball movement and good shot selection will win this game, as the Celtics' teamwork can overcome Dwyane Wade's star power. It's time for the C's to take care of business on their home court. If they do, it's onto the next round for Boston, and an early summer vacation for Wade and the Heat.

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