LeBron James scored 45 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in 45 minutes while Paul Pierce fell ice cold and the Heat pulled off an improbable 98-79 blowout of the Celtics in Game 6 Thursday night at TD Garden. Rajon Rondo finished with 21 points for the Celtics, who now must win Game 7 on the road Saturday night in Miami to win the Eastern Conference finals and advance to the NBA finals. Pierce was just 4-of-18 on the night, including 0-for-6 from long range.
James showed why he was voted the league MVP by dominating the first half, connecting on 12 of his 14 field goal attempts and putting up 30 points in a spectacular display.
Rondo was nearly step-for-step with him, scoring 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, getting the basket early and often. But with the game tied, 12-12, the Heat went on a 10-0 run to assume command of the game. The Celtics would get no closer than seven points the rest of the half and trailed 55-42 at the half when Miami closed out the second quarter by scoring the final five points.
Rondo also repeated Kevin Garnett's pushup routine of Game 3 when he was fouled on a breakaway at midcourt by Mario Chalmers late in the second quarter.
Foul trouble was again a factor for the Celtics as Paul Pierce picked up his third personal of the game midway through the second quarter and had to watch the rest of the half from the bench.
The Celtics made a pair of runs at the Heat in the third quarter, cutting the lead down to 10 twice. But each time, James had answer, building his point total up to 41 after three as the Heat led, 74-61, entering the fourth quarter. Pierce continued his monumental struggles, making just 3-of-16 shots.
The Celtics fell even further behind in the fourth, as Shane Battier drilled a wide-open 3-pointer from the left baseline with 10:18 left to give Miami its biggest lead, 81-63. The Heat built their lead up to as many as 25 in the fourth quarter as coach Doc Rivers pulled Pierce, Garnett and Rondo with over six minutes left to rest them for Game 7 Saturday night in Miami.
Game 7 is Saturday night at 8:30 at American Airlines Arena. For complete coverage of Game 6 from the Garden from the team of Paul Flannery, Mike Petraglia, Ben Rohrbach and Ryan Hadfield, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics and the Green Street blog.
In the latest edition of the "It Is What It Is" podcast, Chris Price and CSNNE's Mike Giardi take a look at the Patriots offseason on both sides of the ball, try and get a handle on which new guys will make an impact first, and whether or not the Patriots have altered their style when it comes to drafting and developing wide receivers.
Mike Florio joined the program to discuss the Jets decision to release Tim Tebow, he said the situation is as disaster all around for the Jets and that the problems begins with owner Woody Johnson. Mike also said that he was disappointed with the Pats moving back in the first round.
One of the hardest working men in the biz, Mike Petraglia aka "Trags", sits down with Butch Stearns live in Foxborough to help break down all the latest Pats moves. He discusses his reaction to the trade in Round 1 and the guys those picks produced. Also, the boys talk about the decent trade the Pats made in acquiring LeGarrette Blount from Tampa Bay for Jeff Demps and a 7th rounder.
We check in with Danny Ainge for our first talk to him since the Celtics season ended last weekend. We talk about the future of the team, KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers and more, as Danny directly answers the rumors being floated by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
Jackie Mac joins the show to discuss the trade rumors swirling around Paul Pierce, KG, Doc Rivers and the Celtics. She also discusses the future of the Celtics head coach.
Stephen A. joined the program to discuss the trade rumors he has reported regarding a possible trade including Doc Rivers and the Clippers. Stephen A. also told the guys that he has heard that Danny and Doc may be tiring of working together.
Will Middlebrooks hit a 3-run double in the top of the 9th inning to power the Red Sox to a 4-3 victory over the Rays tonight. He joined Joe & Dave after the final call live from the dugout.
Larry joined the program to discuss the teams recent struggles and informed the guys that it is still early in the season. Larry also said that he still has faith that Daniel bard can turn things around.
Stephen Drew helped the Red Sox to a 9-2 victory over the Rays tonight with a grand slam in the 3rd inning. He spoke with Joe Castiglione & Dave O'Brien after the game.
Bruins rookie defenseman Matt Bartkowski has emerged as one of the young stars of the team and he joins Mut and Tom Caron to discuss his role on the team, why he's confident, and the trade that almost sent him to Calgary.
Andy Brickley joins the show to discuss the Bruins Game 1 win over the Rangers, the play of the three young Bruins defensemen, and the fatigue Jagr has shown on the ice.
Pierre McGuire joins Tom Caron and Mut to discuss the Bruins young defensemen, the intensity and energy level in the game, and the Rangers offense.
Shawn joined the program to discuss another overtime win for the Bruins. When asked about Game 7 against Toronto, Thornton said that he would like to keep his specific comments in the dressing room private, but acknowledged that he encouraged Tyler Seguin to up his play and it paid off in overtime.
Barry joined the guys to help breakdown the Bruins overtime win last night in game one. Barry said that he has rarely seen a team dominate as much as the Bruins yet be forced to an overtime.
Boomer joined the program to discuss the tough loss for his beloved Rangers. Boomer told the guys that Lundqvist will be better in game two and predicted a seven game series.
Millar joins the show to discuss the recent Sox slide, Jacoby Ellsbury's lack of power, and hitting in the big leagues.
We talk all things game one with Jack Edwards of NESN, and get to hear a little from Jack's Finnish protege as well.
We tackle four topics we haven't yet touched upon today.. Joe Thornton and disappointing former Boston athletes, parking in Boston, buying jersey numbers and more...
We talk about the report that Rob Gronkowski may now be a candidate for back surgery with a disc problem. Is Gronk just an injury prone guy? Or is he not rehabbing proberly? Can the Pats build an offense around a guy who is so inconsistently on the field? We discuss.
The Bruins have almost finished raking the Leafs, the Red Sox struggle from the mound, Miami Heat fans show their level of class.
Daily Planet Wednesday May 8th
Today on the Daily Planet the Bruins take a 2-1 series lead, the Red Sox get a run-off win, and we hear about cannibals and bible thieves.
Sounds like a prostate exam to me!
Damn New Yorkers!
Sauce Man stylings!
Buster Olney joins the show to discuss the muddled AL East, the average play of Ellsbury and how that will affect him in free agency, and Tropicana Field.More from this show
Linda explains how the shootout transpired in Watertown during the early morning hours. She saw the first suspect mortally wounded and police beginning the manhunt for the second suspect.More from this show
Jeff Bauman, a victim of the Boston Marathon bombing, joined the show to give the guys an update of his condition and a first-hand account of that terrible day. Jeff told the guys how he wrote the description of the bomber as soon as he could. Mr. Bauman added that he is aided every day with the knowledge that he is alive and the terrorist that detonated the bomb is dead.More from this show