The Boston Celtics threw their best punch at the Miami Heat last night, and in the end, it simply wasn’t enough.
The Heat survived a legendary performance from Rajon Rondo (44 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds), solid contributions from Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, and yes, benefitted from the referees’ whistles (Miami took 47 free throws, to Boston’s 29.)
Everyone on the Boston side of the argument was enraged, but Paul Pierce put it best when he called the overtime loss in Game 2 “demoralizing.”
From Yahoo! Sports:
The general manager of the Boston Celtics was trying to understand how LeBron James could get to the free-throw line those 24 times, and so Danny Ainge stood in the hallway recreating a clear-path foul call to the NBA’s vice president of referee operations, Joe Borgia. Ainge slid his feet, and tried to show how the Celtics defender had reached around to the Miami Heat star, how they were far too close to the rim for that call. “How?” Ainge asked him.
Ainge was persistent, polite and Borgia finally relented that he’d watch the film of the Heat’s 115-111 Game 2 overtime victory. “I’m sure we missed five or six calls somewhere,” Borgia said.
The Celtics were livid with the officials, yes, but mostly they were so, so angry with themselves. All those second and third chances they gave the Heat, when they needed a defensive rebound, a loose ball. “Demoralizing,” Paul Pierce said.
Celtics head coach Doc Rivers did the only thing he could following the crushing defeat — he told his team to suck it up, move on, and try to salvage this series in Games 3 and 4 back home in Beantown.
That sounds a whole lot easier said than done.