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Heat trio pull inside job against Celtics

5/10/2011

One game after being held to their lowest combined point total in any game this season, the Miami Heat's "Big Three" bounced back in a big way, leading the Heat to an overtime victory over the Boston Celtics.

LeBron James (35 points, 14 rebounds), Dwyane Wade (28, 9) and Chris Bosh (20, 12) combined for 83 points, their highest total in the postseason. The trio scored the final 31 points for the Heat, including all 12 of Miami's points in overtime.

Lean on Three

James/Wade/Bosh in Game 4

Together, they combined to take the final 20 field goal attempts for the team. In fact, only one player outside of James, Wade and Bosh even attempted a shot in the fourth quarter. That was Mike Miller, who missed a 3-point field goal with 9:57 left in regulation.

The last player other than the trio to score was Joel Anthony, who made a layup with 54.6 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Including the regular season, this was the 15th time the Heat's "Big Three" combined for 80 points and the second time in this series alone, according to Elias. Miami is 14-1 in those contests.

The trio did most of its damage on the interior. With the exception of Wade, the Heat didn't have much of an outside game on Monday. He was 4-for-7 (57.1 percent) on shots 10 feet and out. The rest of the team shot just 24.2 percent from the same distance.

James and Bosh led the charge from inside, combining to go 15-of-21 inside of 10 feet. According to video tracking, James was at his best when he was able to get a touch inside of the paint.

After making all five of his field goal attempts in the first half when getting the ball in the paint, he missed two of his first three attempts in the second half before hitting his last two and setting up Bosh for a dunk in overtime.

For the game, the Heat outscored the Celtics 48-32 in the paint and 10-0 on second-chance points. The constant pounding inside may have tired the Celtics who struggled with execution late, particularly in the half court.

Through the first three quarters of Game 4, the Celtics were shooting over 44 percent and averaging more than one point per possession in the half court.

Celtics Half-Court Offense Game 4

But in the fourth quarter and overtime, Boston struggled to score in the half court, especially on jump shots. They missed eight of their final 11 jump shots, while going just 2-for-7 from 3-point range.

The Celtics will now attempt to become the ninth team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 playoff deficit. Boston has done so before though -- twice -- in 1968 and 1981, both times against the Philadelphia 76ers.