May 6: Celtics 76, Cavs 72Posted by Inside Hoops
The AP reports: “This was two heavyweights, just body-punching,” said Kevin Garnett, who scored 28 points to make up for an off night for the rest of Boston’s Big Three. “There was no finesse, no jabs, just an all-out, beat-down, defensive fight.” Boston held James to 12 points on 2-for-18 shooting; only once in his career has he made fewer baskets. He missed three drives and a 3-pointer in the final minute, including the potential game-tying finger roll with 8.5 seconds left… Paul Pierce and Ray Allen of the Celtics weren’t doing any bragging, either. Pierce scored four points on 2-for-14 shooting, and Allen was 0-for-4 from the field for his first scoreless performance in his last 852 games since 1997… Sam Cassell made two free throws to tie it 72-72; James missed again, but this time Ilgauskas was there to tip it in and tie the game. Garnett moved across the lane to give Boston back the lead, 74-72 as Cleveland called a timeout with 22 seconds left. James dribbled at the point before finding a lane to the basket, but his shot wouldn’t fall and James Posey was fouled after grabbing the rebound. He hit both free throws.
InsideHoops.com Stat Notes: The Celtics shot 42.6%, the Cavs just 30.7%, but the Cavs took 7 more shots and had 22-of-26 free throws, the Celtics 14-of-18. Both teams were similarly miserable from three-point range. Rebounding, assists and turnovers were all fairly close.
For the Celtics, Garnett shot 13-of-22 for 28 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals. Rajon Rondo (5-of-8) had 15 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists (but 4 turnovers). Sam Cassell (4-of-8) scored 13 off the bench. Paul Pierce had 4 points and more turnovers than assists. Ray Allen was scoreless with 4 turnovers compared to 1 assist.
For the Cavaliers, aside from Ilgauskas’ 22 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks, Wally Szczerbiak (just 5-of-14) had 13 points and little else. LeBron James shot 2-of-18 for 12 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists and 10 turnovers (yes, ten). Ben Wallace rebounded well. That’s about it.