BOSTON Celtics head coach Doc Rivers could not have been any more happier to be wrong when the shot that he thought was going to go in - Miami's Dwayne Wade's 3-point attempt at the end of overtime - did a quick spin around the rim before deciding to not go down.
It would indeed be the difference in Boston's 93-91 overtime victory that now has their best-of-seven series tied at 2-2 with Game 5 in Miami and Game 6 back in Boston on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.
While Rivers was pleased with the defense that Marquis Daniels was playing on Wade's potential game-winner, Rivers thought there was an even greater force at work.
"Red (Auerbach) wasn't going to let that go in," Rivers said. "You know that. Not in the Boston Garden."
Said Wade on the shot: "It was on line. It was all you could ask for. I got my legs on the middle and shot it, and it was on line; it just decided it didn't want to go in."
Adding a slight degree of difficultly to the shot was the fact that it came about with LeBron James on the bench after he picked up his sixth personal foul with 1:51 to play in overtime. Official Joey Crawford made the call as James tried to back down Boston's Mickael Pietrus into the paint.
"With LeBron out, obviously they put more focus on me," Wade said. "And we had some good shots, got my teammates some good looks. They (Boston) gave us an opportunity to win the game. There was a lot of pick-and-rolls, and we were trying to be aggressive."
Keyon Dooling was among the Celtics players to spend time defending Wade on Sunday.
"He's a phenomenal talent, and you're not going to stop him by yourself," Dooling said. "But you can make it difficult and uncomfortable for him which is we would ideally want.
In addition to his defense, Dooling also had 10 points which included nailing 3-of-4 3s.
As important as Dooling's contributions were to the Celtics, this game will be remembered more for what the Heat failed to do, then the C's ability to make plays down the stretch.
James had the ball in the closing seconds of regulation.
Not only did the Heat not score, but James passed off to Udonis Haslem who took a contested shot that had no chance of going in.
And then you had Wade's potential game winner that was off the mark at the end of overtime.
"We had our opportunities," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.
And in Boston, Miami failed to capitalize on them while the C's more often than not, made the most of their chances with the end result - two wins - validating that.
But the challenge isn't over; not even close.
"All we did was give ourselves a chance to stay toe-to-toe in this series," Dooling said. "That's all we did. We feel good about what we've done so far, but we know we have a lot more to do to reach our goal, the prize we've been pursuing throughout this season."