June 7, 2012 – Boston, MA
Finally, the script deviates from the Spurs-Thunder drama.
While the Boston Celtics were hoping for a repeat of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s underdog victory the night before, the Miami Heat were certainly not hoping to duplicate the San Antonio Spurs’s collapse after winning the first two games and losing the next four.
Lebron James rewrote the script in his own hand, scoring 45 points in a stunning 98-79 Heat victory over the Celtics and forcing a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals. Dwyane Wade scored a mere 17 points and every other Heat player was in the single digits. Mario Chalmers had 9 and Shane Battier added 8.
Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with 21 points, but nobody else came close. Kevin Garnett and Bradon Bass both scored 12, Ray Allen added 10 and Paul Pierce nine. Pierce, the team captain, shot just 4 for 18 while Rondo scored a mere two points in the second half.
The Heat dominated the first quarter, 26-16, led at the half 55-42, kept the lead after three quarters as both teams scored 19 points, and ran away in the fourth 24-18. James joins Wilt Chamberlain as the only two players to have a 45-15-5 line in the NBA playoffs.
The seventh and final game will be played in Miami, with the winner playing the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City for Game 1 of the NBA finals.
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