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|Ray Allen, who led the Celtics with 25 points, went 6 for 9 from 3-point land.|
“The Celtics looked like a 12-man juggernaut; the Cavaliers looked like a team waiting for a player to rescue them. It didn't happen. It might not moving forward. "That's the beauty of our team, it's what makes us so dangerous," said Pierce. "You look at Cleveland, you know you gotta stop LeBron. With us, it's any number of guys. We've got four or five guys who can lead us in scoring in me, [Rajon] Rondo, Ray [Allen], [Kevin Garnett], and [Rasheed] Wallace. That's why we're so dangerous; different guys are stepping up on different nights." Echoed Celtics coach Doc Rivers: "We are who we are. We don't need anyone to play hero basketball. We have to be a team. We're good when we're a team." On Tuesday, the Celtics were the definition of a team. For all the hoopla that surrounded Rajon Rondo after his triple-double performance in Sunday's Game 4 win and whether the Big Three had passed the torch to him, it became clear Tuesday night that, for the Celtics to play at a championship level, it's going to have to be a torch relay -- something straight out of the Olympic playbook. At times, Boston played like a Dream Team. The Celtics held Cleveland to without a field goal for nearly an eight-minute stretch in the second quarter, embarking on a 16-0 run that turned an eight-point deficit into a 37-29 lead. That advantage snowballed in the third quarter when, fueled by second-chance opportunities, Allen drilled a pair of 3-pointers for a 12-2 burst that helped push the lead above 20 before the end of the frame. When Glen Davis registered a putback 2½ minutes into the fourth quarter, it sent fans sprawling toward the exit, questioning whether they had seen James' final game in a Cavaliers uniform. Even King James admitted the Celtics played like royalty. "The Big Three had it going consistently," said James. "That's what Hall of Famers do. When a guy goes to the bench, those guys stepped it up. Those guys were great tonight. All three of them, and then Rondo did what he had to do in the second half." Assessing the position his team is in now, Antawn Jamison noted: "If we want to be called champions, we have to do what champions do, and that's win on the road." The Celtics won on the road Tuesday -- just like they had won here in two of their previous four visits -- and pushed Cleveland to the brink of elimination, while moving themselves one step closer to having a chance to be called champions. Boston always knew it could play here, ever since that opening night win. And even if they doubted themselves along the way, they never took their eyes off the ultimate prize. "We talk about the process and not getting bored with it and trying to figure out ways to get better every game," said Allen. "No matter how, or who you play, trying to figure out ways to get better, regardless of the outcome. There were a lot of nights we were disappointed, but we tried to find ways to get better. "The playoffs are the same. You lose a game, you go back to the drawing board. You don't get too excited and too happy. We are not celebrating because we haven't won anything." But the Celtics are a lot closer than they were 196 days ago. Chris Forsberg is the Celtics reporter for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.
You look at Cleveland, you know you gotta stop LeBron. With us, it's any number of guys. We've got four or five guys who can lead us in scoring. ... That's why we're so dangerous.” -- Celtics captain Paul Pierce