The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat have certainly had intense playoff series, but the 2010 First Round Series got physical. To set up Game 3 it’s worth discussing how we got here. In Game 1 Kevin Garnett got into an altercation with the Heat’s Quentin Richardson. Q-Rich received an elbow by Garnett, who was checking on a fallen Paul Pierce. Boston won Game 1 85-76, but lost KG to a game to suspension. In Game 2 Big Baby Glen Davis got the start for KG and was a big part of a 106-77 win, scoring 23 points to go along with eight rebounds.
Game 3 was in Miami, and it was the return of Kevin Garnett who had 16 points. This game was extremely close with 14 ties and 14 lead changes, but people will go back and view this as a shootout between Paul Pierce and Dwyane Wade. D-Wade had 15 after the first quarter, compared to Pierce’s nine points. This game got fun in the 4th quarter. In the last four minutes there were four ties, but Ray Allen took the lead for the C’s with a 3-pointer to put Boston in front 95-94. Udonis Haslem hit one of two free throws to tie the game at 95, but Paul Pierce broke the tie with a 3 pointer to put Boston up by three with 1:42 left. Dorrell Wright answered back with a three of his own to tie the game at 98 with 1:29 left.
This game took a turn in the final 15 seconds. D-Wade had a chance to break the tie, which he tried to do via the three ball. Unfortunately Wade came down on the foot of Ray Allen, which injured Wade’s already hampered calf, forcing the player known as flash to leave the game. As has been done in the past, the Celtics and their fans looked to The Truth for the answer. After standing in iso to wind the clock down, Pierce went inside the three point line to hit the game winning 21 foot shot to seal the 100-98 victory. Dwyane Wade had a game high 34 points, while Paul Pierce finished with two fewer, but he did hit the 2 that counted most.
The Heat faced elimination but won Game 4, but it was the Celtics winning the series in five games. This was an era of the Celtics that should have seen two or three championships, but there were injuries. KG in 2009. And Game 6 of the 2010 Finals saw Kendrick Perkins injure his knee, helping the Lakers tie the Finals and win in seven. The story of the series was D-Wade, who averaged 33.2 ppg. But he didn’t have any help to supplement his production, which led to the eventual demise of the 2009-10 Heat squad.
The 2009-10 Celtics weren’t really afraid of any opponents, and this team pushed LeBron to leave Cleveland after a 2nd round win by the C’s, which setup future Celtics-Heat drama.