Celtics

Celtics-Heat Game 3 review: What we saw . . .

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Celtics-Heat Game 3 review: What we saw . . .

BOSTON Miami's LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined for more fouls committed (8) than free throw attempts (5).

That right there tells you all you need to know about the Boston Celtics' 101-91 Game 3 win over the Miami Heat.

It was one of the few times all season that Miami's dynamic duo didn't spend much time at the free throw line.

Making matters worse, the five free throw attempts - all by James - only resulted in one point.

"We'll be more aggressive and we'll find ways to get to the rim and to the free-throw line next game," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "We're not getting into anything else."

Prior to Game 3, the Celtics made no secret about their displeasure with how the first two games had been called in terms of fouls and free throw attempts.

On Friday, Boston had 26 free throw attempts compared to 20 for the Heat.

In the two previous games, Boston had a total of 50 free throw attempts compared to 70 for the Heat.

The lack of free throws, from the Heat perspective at least, had more to do with them not being as assertive offensively as they had been in the first two games in Miami.

"We settled a bit tonight," said Heat guard Mario Chalmers. "We weren't getting things to go our way, so we started settling for jumpers."

Regardless as to why it happened, it doesn't change the fact that the Heat's two primary sources for getting to the line - James and Wade - were not able to do so. As big a factor as that was in the game's outcome, it wasn't the only one. Here are other keys outlined prior to Boston's Game 3 win, and how those factors contributed to the game's final outcome.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Coming off the kind of performance Rajon Rondo had in Game Two, you can expect the Heat to look at ways to not allow him to be such a dominant force. Do not be surprised if Rondo sees more double-teams along with the Heat making a more concerted effort to get the ball out of Rondo's hands. "(Rondo) almost single-handedly beat us," said Heat forward Shane Battier.

WHAT WE SAW: The Heat didn't really treat Rondo any differently in terms of attention. It was clear early on that Rondo, much like he did in Game 2, was intent on taking whatever the defense gave him. For most of the game, he was not given nearly as much of a cushion to shoot the ball. And when he drove, Miami was sending more bodies his way then they did in Game Two. But when all was said and done, Rondo had a strong night with 21 points, 10 assists and six rebounds.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Kevin Garnett vs. Ronny Turiaf: The Heat fully understand and accept that they will not win this matchup. But what they have been able to do in the first two games is make Garnett work hard for all his points, limiting him primarily to scoring from the perimeter which is not what the Celtics want. One of the reasons Boston was able to move past both Atlanta and Philadelphia in the playoffs, was because of Garnett's ability to impact the game as a scorer or a passer, from the post. That has not been the case in the first two games against Miami, a trend the C's need to stop if they are to get back into this series.

WHAT WE SAW: Garnett once again had his way with Turiaf and the entire Heat team, getting a good chunk of his scoring inside the paint as Miami was seemingly helpless in stopping him from scoring 24 points to go with 11 rebounds. "You don't want to be down 3-0 to a team like this," Garnett said.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Brandon Bass has to continue to find ways to maximize his minutes on the floor, knowing his playing time will be somewhat limited because of the Celtics success with a small ball lineup that more often than not, doesn't include him. The best way for him to get more minutes, is to do what he does best and that is to knock down mid-range jumpers. During the regular season, only four players (Dirk Nowitzki, Carlos Boozer, Russell Westbrook and Kobe Bryant) took more mid-range jumpers (15-19 feet) than Bass. It has been more of the same in the playoffs, where Bass ranks third in 15-19 foot shots taken, trailing only Westbrook and teammate Kevin Garnett. And with the Heat doing so much switching defensively, there's a very good chance that he'll at various points in the game have a matchup that's decidedly in his favor.

WHAT WE SAW: Bass never got into any kind of flow or rhythm, in large part because he spent more time on the bench than usual due to early foul trouble. He finished with five fouls which limited him to just four points on 1-for-3 shooting.

STAT TO TRACK: The 3-point shot was never a real weapon of choice for the Miami Heat during the regular season, which explains why they were ranked just 20th in the regular season in 3-pointers made per game (5.6). They have been better in the playoffs in that category, ranking fifth with 6.2 3s made per game. Two games into this series, and Miami's ability to connect on the long ball has played a major role in both Miami victories. Boston's ability to limit the Heat's effectiveness from 3-point range will go far in their effort to win Game Three.

WHAT WE SAW: Miami connected on 5-for-17 of its 3s, but the majority of them came when the game was out of reach and the Celtics defense, playing with a sizable cushion, seemed to ease up just a little bit.

Does Kyrie regret exchange with fan in Philly? 'Hell, no'

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Does Kyrie regret exchange with fan in Philly? 'Hell, no'

WALTHAM, Mass. – The NBA has talked with  Celtics guard Kyrie Irving about disparaging comments he made to a fan at halftime that have since gone viral.

Irving said the incident happened as the Celtics were heading back to the locker room at halftime after the Celtics fell behind 50-46 to the Sixers.

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“Kyrie, where’s LeBron?” yelled the fan.

Irving replied with a lewd suggestion. 

After practice on Saturday, Irving acknowledged that he did say something to a fan and that he had a conversation with the league regarding the incident.

Regrets?

“Hell no,” Irving said. “Man enough to record it on video, that’s on him. I’m glad he got his ad name out there, and his five seconds of fame and it’s gone viral. That’s the social media platform we live on.

Irving added, “I take full responsibility for what I said. You move on.”

The league has not officially announced a fine for Irving, but it’s more a matter of when not if that will be forthcoming.

In fact, earlier today, the league fined New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins $25,000 for “inappropriate language” towards a fan in the Pelicans’ 103-91 loss at Memphis on Wednesday.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens had not seen the video in question but was aware that Irving had been in conversations with the league office regarding the incident.

“Guys know what the right thing to do is,” Stevens said. “People make mistakes; hopefully learn from them and move on. There’s a right and wrong. And if you’re in the wrong you have to own up to it and that’s that.”