Ray Allen drilled five of his six three-point attempts and scored a team-high 24 and Paul Pierce added 21 as the Celtics beat the Miami Heat, 96-86, Tuesday night at TD Garden to win their first-round series, 4-1. Allen made his first four shots of the second half as the Celtics built a 21-point lead in the third quarter. Rajon Rondo had 16 points and 12 assists. 


One of the elements of Miami's Game 4 win was the defense Dwyane Wade played on Rajon Rondo late in the game. Actually defense isn't the right word. Wade was assigned the task of guarding Rondo, but he gave him such a wide berth that he was able to roam the passing lanes and help on anyone who wanted to take it to the basket. "We thought we'd see it much earlier," Doc Rivers said before game 5. "They've used it in the fourth quarter and they've done it in special situations [end of the game, shot clock, out of bounds plays, etc].

WALTHAM -- The Celtics are on the verge of advancing to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs for the third straight season. But to ensure they don't allow the Miami Heat any glimmer of hope, they need to win tonight at TD Garden in Game 5. If the Celtics, who lead 3 games to 1, lose tonight, they will be forced to play Game 6 in Miami on Thursday night. 

WALTHAM -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers admitted on Monday that his team is not trying to stop Dwyane Wade from scoring but wants to see more urgency on defense. Wade scored 46 points and made 16-of-24 shots from the field as the Miami Heat beat the Celtics, 101-92, in Game 4 in Miami on Sunday. 


WALTHAM  --  Following a one-hour film session, the Celtics went through a high-paced, up-tempo practice on Monday in preparation for Game 5 with the Miami Heat on Tuesday night at TD Garden. The Celtics missed their first chance to close out the Heat on Sunday by losing in Miami, 101-92. For complete coverage, visit the Green Street blog. 

MIAMI – What we had here Sunday afternoon was the perfect storm of a superstar playing on a level above even his lofty standards, complimented by a supporting cast that actually complimented him and an opponent who inexplicably missed layups and free throws in the final minutes. 



The Celtics and Heat will play Game 5 at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Boston. It will air locally on CSN and nationally on NBA TV. WEEI will carry the radio broadcast.

The Heat saved themselves from elimination with a 101-92 win over the Celtics on Sunday in Miami. The Celtics still lead the series, 3-1.  The C's fought back from a halftime deficit to take a six-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but Dwyane Wade scored 19 points in the final 12 minutes to give the Heat the win. He led all players with 46 points. Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with 23 points. The Celtics will try to advance to the second round when they return to Boston for Game 5 on Tuesday.

MIAMI – Eighty eight and zero. In the history of the NBA there have been 88 playoff series that began with one team winning the first three games and each time that team has gone on to win the series.



MIAMI — Lost in the dramatics of Paul Pierce’s game-winner, Ray Allen’s Game 2 explosion and even Tony Allen’s brilliant defense on Dwyane Wade in Game 1 has been the stellar play of Rajon Rondo.

Through three games Rondo has averaged just 11.7 points, but that never tells the full story with him. He’s also getting 10 assists a nights and 6.3 rebounds, but again, numbers can’t define Rondo.