Wading Into Rough Waters: Miami Falls, Series Back Even

And we're back to even after the Celtics hung on to beat the Heat in overtime on Sunday, 93-91. Previously: Complete Game 3 coverage

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Heat Vs. Celtics: Video Breakdown Of Boston's Wins

In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Boston Celtics looked old and slow. In Game 2, they were undone by the referees. They headed home in a 2-0 hole, but they're back in the series after putting together a couple of great performances in Games 3 and 4, locking up the Eastern Conference Finals at 2-2. Rajon Rondo's performance and LeBron James fouling out were the big stories of Game 4, which Ben Golliver breaks down below.

The series now shifts to Miami, where the Heat will host Game 5 at home on Tuesday. The biggest story throughout the day leading up to the game is likely to be whether or not Chris Bosh will be able to make a return to the Miami Heat lineup. The Heat should be favored to win at home without him, but based on what happened over the weekend in Boston, they might need him for Game 6.

For more on the Heat, head over to Peninsula Is Mightier and SB Nation Tampa Bay. For more on the Celtics, check out CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston.

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The LeBron James Clutch Debate That Just Won't Die

It wouldn't be the NBA Playoffs if we weren't arguing about LeBron James in the clutch. After Sunday's loss to the Celtics in Game 4, both sides will be louder than ever.

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NBA Playoffs: Rajon Rondo, Greatness And Concerns Of Consistency

Rajon Rondo has slowly but surely earned the respect of basketball fans since entering the league, but any praise he receives typically comes with a caveat. Whether it's wondering if he can perform on a consistent basis in the NBA Playoffs against better competition or wondering if he'll develop a consistent jumper, the Boston Celtics point guard has had his share of doubters.

That's beginning to change, with the latest example coming on Sunday night as Rondo was able to lead his Celtics to an overtime victory against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat. There weren't many pundit positing caveats following the amazing performance from Rondo and, according to Jeff Clark from SB Nation's Celtics Blog, the talk of a "consistency" problem has to stop.

It is hard not to get carried away with the Rajon Rondo compliments. He's just doing amazing things on the basketball court right now. Threading the needle on insane passes, timing his leaps perfectly to snatch a rebound or steal a pass, putting up ridiculous circus shots that somehow have become routine for him... it is poetry in a headband.

But we've followed Rondo since he was a rookie and we all remember too well the magician that would produce dazzling performances would also frequently perform disappearing acts just as often. So you'll forgive us all for being once bitten twice shy with this talk of "consistency" when attached to Rajon.

Still, what else can you call it? Night in, night out, he's racking up double digit assists and carrying the team on his back for long stretches at a time. He can't be insanely incredible 100% of the time, nobody can. Superstars have off nights without having to be labelled "inconsistent," why can't Rondo? Force of habit I suppose.

Clark makes an excellent point in the preceding excerpt, but the doubts will likely continue considering it's impossible for Rondo's to be able to keep up his string of recent performances for the remainder of the postseason ... isn't it?

For more on the Heat, head over to Peninsula Is Mightier and SB Nation Tampa Bay. For more on the Celtics, check out CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston.

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LeBron James Fouled Out, Pleasing Paul Pierce And Celtics

The Boston Celtics were able to pick up a much-needed win on Sunday night against the Miami Heat. It probably would not have been possible had LeBron James not fouled out, however -- something Paul Pierce and the Celtics were apparently keenly aware of following the game.

Pierce, who also fouled out, went on record with the Boston Herald to say it was about time that James fouled out of an important game ... and also that James rarely has to play against good players like himself, of course.

"It was very frustrating. But it's very gratifying when you see the other star player foul out also," Pierce said after last night's 93-91 overtime win over Miami at the Garden, which tied the Eastern Conference finals at 2. "It evened up the playing field.

"He never has a lot of fouls, but we were aggressive against him tonight. We stepped up twice to take charges, and drove. That's what you have to do. Not a lot of players try to attack him. It's not often that he plays against top small forwards in the league also.

"He gets a lot of nights off."

The Celtics entered the series as the underdog, but they probably aren't gaining any neutral fans with comments like this. Since the majority of the country seems to be anti-LeBron, though, these comments probably aren't going to pose any problems in that regard.

For more on the Heat, head over to Peninsula Is Mightier and SB Nation Tampa Bay. For more on the Celtics, check out CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston.

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Who's To Blame For Miami Heat Losing? Everyone

Whose fault was it that the Heat didn't pull out a win against the Celtics on Sunday? Just about everyone's. That, Spurs-Thunder, Tiger's "back" (again) and more in this week's Monday Morning Jones.

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Chris Bosh Injury Status: Miami Heat Could Get Big Man Back For Game 5

The Miami Heat had chances on Sunday night, but neither LeBron James nor Dwyane Wade were able to come through in the clutch, allowing the Boston Celtics to tie the Eastern Conference Finals at two games apiece. The Heat could get a boost by the time the two teams meet again, as the third member of Miami's "Big Three" seems poised for a return.

There isn't anything concrete as of yet -- and likely won't be until the Heat meet with the media on Monday afternoon -- but ESPN's Tom Haberstroh took an educated guess on Chris Bosh's status for Game 5.

It'll be interesting to see how effective Bosh actually is when he returns considering the length of time he's been in a suit on the bench ... not to mention the underrated seriousness of an abdominal strain. Either way, the team with more talent available usually ends up winning.

For more on the Heat, head over to Peninsula Is Mightier and SB Nation Tampa Bay. For more on the Celtics, check out CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston.

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Heat Vs. Celtics Brings Refs Into Spotlight, Much To The NBA's Chagrin

The Heat and Celtics played an instant classic in Game 4 on Sunday, but it's hard to avoid thinking about the refs' role. That's the eternal problem for the NBA.

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Uncle Luke Is Angry

Uncle Luke really wasn't happy about the Miami Heat's loss. Actually, he was pretty mad at the refs, the NBA, ESPN and pretty much everyone else. Still, the meltdown was quite spectacular.

These are unedited and chronological.

Pregame:

And we're off

In the fourth quarter, it all went to hell

And now we're getting desperate

Just wait until they start calling Tiger Woods a CLOWNFRAUD.

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VIDEO: Rajon Rondo Does Not Care One Bit

Apparently, there are repercussions, or possible repercussions, for saying taboo things during on-court halftime interviews. Following the game, Doris Burke informed Rajon Rondo -- he of the "They're complaining and crying to the referees in transition" quote -- that there could be repercussions. When asked if he's worried about this, Rondo had a pretty succinct answer.

Rajon Rondo don't care.

"What I said was true. I don't take what I said back."

For more on these teams, visit Heat blog Peninsula is Mightier and CelticsBlog. To stay up to date on all of the happenings in the 2012 NBA playoffs, head over to SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.

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Celtics Vs. Heat, 2012 NBA Playoffs Game 4: Boston Wins 93-91 In OT

Dwyane Wade missed a three-point attempt as time expired in overtime, and the Eastern Conference Finals go back to Miami with the series tied 2-2. Boston won 93-91 in a thrilling back-and-forth OT contest.

With both Paul Pierce and LeBron James fouled out on questionable offensive fouls, points were at a premium in the extra session. The team's combined for only six, which was the theme of the second half with both defenses clamping down after a sloppy first 24 minutes.

Boston got strong play from Rajon Rondo, who had 15 points and 15 assists, and Kevin Garnett, who had 17 points and 14 rebounds.

While LeBron wasn't as efficient as he has been in this series, he still had 29 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Wade recovered from a slow start in the first half to put up 20 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.

Perhaps the most encouraging sign for the Celtics was Ray Allen's strong offensive effort, as the injured shooting guard had 16 points on 6-16 shooting.

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Chris Bosh's Face Is One For The Ages

Chris Bosh is sitting on the bench in street clothes, which gives him a unique perspective on everything that’s happening on the court. Here’s how he using that perspective.


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Imagine if Chris Bosh was a celebrity judge on a horrible cooking show.

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It's Gronk's World, We're Just Living In It

Gronk notices the camera is on him and TIME TO BRO IT UP, BRO. LET'S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Rob_medium

Yo soy fiesta, my man.

Edit: Aaaaand looped.

Rob2_medium

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Heat Vs. Celtics: Chris Bosh Out for Game 4

LeBron James said Friday that the Heat would prepare for Game 4 like Chris Bosh wasn't playing. Good thing they did, because Bosh won't return from injury on Sunday night when the Celtics attempt to even the Eastern Conference Finals at 2-2.


Preview: Heat Vs. Celtics Game 4 At A Glance

ESPN.com's Michael Wallace has some quotes from Heat practice:

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Saturday that Bosh won't play Sunday and reiterated the All-Star forward has not yet advanced far enough in his recovery from an abdominal strain to gauge when he might be available for game action.

"I'm not thinking about Chris today -- I'm not," Spoelstra said before the Heat's practice at TD Garden. "He's not on my mind. And I love you, Chris, but I'm focused on Sunday. That's where all of my energies are focused right now."

The initial diagnosis on Bosh was that he could return in time for some part the Eastern Conference Finals. Right now it looks like one of the following is true:

a) Bosh is not close to a return
b) Spoelstra is not going to share much about Bosh's status with the media
c) The Heat have no idea when Bosh is coming back
d) Perhaps all of the above

Game 4 tips off on Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN.

For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier.

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Heat Not Expecting Chris Bosh To Be Back For Game 4 Vs. Celtics

The Miami Heat looked as bad as they have all postseason in a Game 3 loss to the Boston Celtics on Friday. In particular, Kevin Garnett was a destroyer and Miami's small lineups were ineffective. Given that Chris Bosh's initial prognosis was that he could return sometime in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Game 3 result has naturally led to questions about whether the power forward would hit the court in time to help get Miami a win in Boston and a commanding 3-1.

That remains unclear, but the Heat's other two stars aren't counting on it. Here's what LeBron James said in the post-game on Friday.

"We don't know when Chris will be back. We're not going into the next game hoping that he's going to be there or whatever the case may be. We've got to prepare like he's not playing. We'll prepare for Game 4 like he's not playing."

In three regular season games against Boston this year, Bosh averaged 11.7 points (lower than usual) and 10.3 rebounds (higher). He averaged 12.8 points and 10.2 rebounds in the Heat's series against Boston in 2011.

For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier.

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