BOSTON – We have seen the Boston Celtics put together some pretty miraculous runs through the course of a game.
But to be down 26 points and come back and win?
It was indeed a rally for the ages and according to Elias, was also the largest comeback by a team this season.
And the comeback was fueled in large part by a Celtics defense that in the second half, looked a lot like the defense we saw earlier this season that shut down team after team after team.
“It was great. It was great,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “We got into the ball, we were tough. We’re not going to have a prayer if we don’t play really hard and really get into the ball in these games against this level of competition. So that’s how we have to be as we move forward.”
In the second half, Boston limited the Heat to shooting 26.3 percent (10-for-38) from the field while forcing eight turnovers which led to 15 points.
Getting down so big means near-perfect basketball has to be played offensively, and that’s exactly what Boston was able to do.
Along with shooting 53.7 percent from the field (22-for-41) in the second half, Boston also turned the ball over just three times which resulted in zero – nada, zilch – points for the Heat.
“We just turned up our intensity on both ends of the floor,” said Boston’s Kelly Olynyk. “Played with a lot more pace, a lot more purpose and it paid off.”
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Wednesday’s game:
His defense in the second half was among the keys to one of Boston’s most impressive comeback win this season. Bradley wasn’t too shabby as a scorer either, with 17 points coming on 8-for-12 shooting.
‘Iso’ Joe Johnson has been a major plus for the Miami Heat, and he was once again leading the charge for Heat with a team-high 19 points on 9-for-19 shooting.
Sixth man on your roster, number one in your heart. Turner continues to deliver whatever the Celtics are lacking when it matters most as he came off the bench to score 16 points to go with four assists with just one turnover.
One of the more under-rated point guards in the NBA, Dragic gave the Celtics problems most of the first half before finishing with 18 points on 9-for-16 shooting.
A leading candidate for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award, Whiteside showed his offensive side on Wednesday with 19 points to go with nine rebounds and four blocked shots.
He had 17 points and did so on 7-for-16 shooting, but most of his offense did very little in terms of moving the needle or for the Heat, giving them an edge. His plus/minus for the game was -21, easily the worst among all 19 players who saw action in the game.