BOSTON -- Like the rest of the Boston Celtics, Sasha Pavlovic started out cold in the first half of Tuesdays win over the Miami Heat.
Pavlovic, who started at the shooting guard spot on a shorthanded team, shot 0-for-2 from the field in six minutes through two quarters.
I started kind of slow in the first half, he said (Head coach) Doc (Rivers) was on me about that. He told me just to play. I took a couple bad shots in the first half. I just came out in the second half and played as hard as I could defensively, and whenever I had an open shot I just took it.
Pavlovic scored four points (2-2 FG) in four minutes during the third quarter as the Celtics began to climb back from a 34-28 halftime deficit. His layup with less than 30 seconds left in the quarter gave the Celtics a 50-48 lead, their first since 7:49 to play in the first half.
Enter the fourth quarter, when Pavlovic went on an offensive spree. He scored 12 of the Celtics 28 fourth-quarter points off of five-for-six shooting from the field (including a pair of three-pointers) in a span of six minutes. The entire Heat team scored just 16 points in the entire final quarter.
Pavlovic said he was given the green light by Rivers to shoot the ball whenever he was open.
That was huge for Sasha, said Rivers. Especially in the fact that Sasha really struggled in the first half and then he came in the second half and played terrific.
Pavlovic finished with a game-high 16 points in 23 minutes on a night when Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Mickael Pietrus, and Greg Stiemsma did not play.
Looking ahead to the playoffs this weekend, Pavlovic says he will fill whatever need the Celtics have in a given game.
Ive always told you, Im just going to get out there and play as hard as I can defensively, he said. I know we are down a couple guys, but at playoffs its not going to be like that. So I just get out there and play my role, whatever it is that night.