Rajon Rondo did everything. He scored, he passed, he rebounded. He attacked, barely coughed up the ball and he even hit his jumpers. All of this, and he never sat down once.
Unfortunately, Rondo can't do it alone. A tremendous game from Rondo, highlighted by a career high 44 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, was for all naught as the Miami Heat outlasted the Boston Celtics, 115-111, in overtime to win Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday evening at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida.
"It was great. He was absolutely phenomenal." Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said about Rondo's night. "It was tough to have him play that way and not win the game, honestly. He did basically everything right, and we had a lot of opportunities to win the game."
Four of the Celtics' five starters reached double-digit scoring, with Paul Pierce scoring 21, Kevin Garnett amassing 18 points and eight rebounds and Ray Allen scoring 13 while grabbing five rebounds. Brandon Bass had eight points and 10 rebounds for Boston.
LeBron James scored 34, Dwyane Wade added 23 and Mario Chalmers stepped up and scored 22. Udonis Haslem hit several key shots down the stretch and finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Miami shot 44.6 percent (37-for-83) and made 10-of-26 threes.
The Celtics made 40-of-81 shots (49.4 percent) and turned the ball over just eight times. Both teams had 42 rebounds, but the story (aside from a poor third quarter for Boston) was the foul differential. Boston was whistled for 33 fouls while 18 harms were called on Miami.
Boston avoided the slow start that buried it in the opening game of the series, taking a 24-18 lead after one quarter. Pierce scored eight and Rondo had eight points on 4-of-8 shooting from the stripe in the frame, during which Boston shot 55.6 percent (10-for-18). James scored six for Miami in the frame, but the Heat made just 6-of-22 shots in the period.
Miami played much better in the second quarter, but a 29-28 advantage in the quarter still gave Boston a 53-46 edge at halftime. Rondo scored 14 in the quarter on 5-of-7 shooting (4-of-4 from free throw line). Boston was equally effective from the field in the second, making 10-of-19 buckets. Rondo led all scorers at the break with 22 points in 24 minutes.
Rondo cooled off in the third, as did the entire Celtics team. Rondo had four points and only one assist and the team went 8-for-18 and got to the line six times. Miami, meanwhile, scored 35 in the frame and was led by 12 points from Wade and 11 points from James.
Boston again outscored Miami, 24-18, in the fourth quarter, this time receiving a charge from Garnett, who scored 10 points -- six from the line -- but it was Allen who came up with the three points that mattered most. Down by three with 34.3 seconds remaining, Allen sank a wide-open three after a kick out pass from Keyon Dooling, tying the game at 99. After a Heat timeout, James missed a layup and Miami reset its offense, ultimately getting the ball back to James, who missed a 22-foot jumper with 1.9 seconds left, forcing overtime.
Rondo was again magnificent in the extra period, scoring all 12 of Boston's points. Still, Miami would overcome thanks to eight points from Wade and four each from James and Haslem to outscored the Celtics, 16-12. The Heat made 6-of-10 free throws in overtime while Boston got to the line just twice, and Rondo made both free throws.
The series transitions back to Boston for Games 3 and 4, with Game 3 taking place Friday.
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