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Celtics beat Heat, even series

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Associated Press
June 4, 2012
— Rajon Rondo delivered the trash talk at halftime and the big plays in overtime.

And after one final defensive stand, the Boston Celtics were two wins away from an improbable chance to play for another championship.


Rondo had 15 points and 15 assists, and scored the final three points of the Celtics’ 93-91 overtime victory over the Heat on Sunday night that evened the Eastern Conference finals at 2-2.


Getting a huge break when LeBron James fouled out for the first time since moving to Miami, the Celtics recovered after blowing an 18-point lead in regulation and moved two games away from a third trip to the NBA finals in five years.


Kevin Garnett added 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Celtics, while Paul Pierce scored 23 points before fouling out. Ray Allen finished with 16 points.


“Stops,” Rondo said when asked what was the difference in the tight game. “I think we executed offensively, came up with some lucky plays and we got stops at the end.”


James had 29 points and Dwyane Wade scored 20 after another dismal start for the Heat, who host Game 5 on Tuesday.


“Not stressed the series is tied 2-2,” James said. “It’s great basketball, great competition. We wanted to get one up here and we


didn’t.”


In a game that started as a Celtics blowout and turned into a foul- and tension-filled fourth quarter, followed by the second overtime in this series, the Celtics held on when Wade missed a potential winning 3-pointer on the last possession.


Boston’s Mickael Pietrus drew James’ sixth foul and grabbed two huge offensive rebounds.



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