After bowing out in Game 1 of their First Round matchup series versus the Atlanta Hawks, the Boston Celticsstole the Hawks’ home court advantage and is on the verge of taking a 3-1 lead. Owners of Boston Celtics tickets were certainly worried about their team’s chances after Game 1 especially with the way the game ended. Rajon Rondo was ejected from the game after bumping the referee during the final minute of the game. The incident happened when Rondo was complaining about a foul called on teammate Brandon Bass during a loose ball situation. Rondo was slapped with a one game suspension for the incident.
Down 0-1 and without their floor leader for Game 2 on the road, Boston was certainly in a very bad spot. Refusing to be buried in a 0-2 hole, the championship core of the 2008 team showed the heart of a champion. Veteran and team captain Paul Pierce turned back the clock and played one of the best individual games so far in the playoffs. Pierce scored 36 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and dished out 4 assists to lead the team to an 87-80 victory. Boston clawed back in this game to even the series after trailing by as much as 11 points in the second half. With the backs against the walls, Pierce showed why he was the Finals MVP in 2008.
Almost every Boston player was using the word “professional” in the team’s locker to describe what kind of game it was. After the game, Pierce told that “These types of moments are what being a professional is all about.”
With the series shifting to their home floor, Bostonwas certainly feeling good about themselves. Aside from being at home, Rondo also returned into the lineup after serving a one-game suspension. NBA’s all-time leading three-point shooter Ray Allen also returned after missing almost a month due to an injury. With the Big Four already complete, Boston eked out a 90-84 overtime victory in Game 3 to lead the series 2-1. In his return, Rondo tallied a triple double of 17 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists. Allen scored 13 points in his return after playing 38 minutes off the bench. Kevin Garnett registered 20 points and 13 rebounds while Pierce scored 21 points.
Boston now has their all-stars complete and this just adds to the woes of Atlanta, who missed the services of Josh Smith who is out indefinitely due to a sprained tendon on his left knee.
Speaking of injury, starting two-guard Avery Bradley dislocated his left shoulder during the Game 3 win and would be re-evaluated on May 5. Bradley suffered the injury late in the third quarter and did not return for the game. The second-year-player out of Texas University was Boston’s most durable player having appeared in 64 of the possible 66 games despite having shoulder problems all year. His status for Game is still uncertain according to the team.
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