Walled off from the paint, James spent much of his time launching a barrage of off-balanced jumpers -- many of which found net. He applied a lot of energy on the defensive end, frustrating Paul Pierce, and also provided the undisputed YouTube moment when he streaked along the baseline to slam home an alley-oop pass from Dwyane Wade.
All week, Wade fielded questions about Celtics' kryptonite and his season-long struggles against Boston. He responded with a 13-point first quarter, and never let up. Wade scored every which way. He attacked in the half court and transition, had his midrange game cooking and drained a key 3-pointer in the fourth that stretched the lead to 16. A statement game and an athletic showcase.
Touted as one of the key matchups, Bosh and Kevin Garnett engaged in a pitchers' duel. They wrestled down on the post, but neither was a factor offensively. Bosh's work on the glass was solid, but he was abominable from midrange. Still, "Bosh time" at the start of the second quarter turned out to be one of the more productive stretches of the game for the Heat.
The sharpshooter drained five 3-pointers, setting his career high for most treys in a postseason game. His 25 points were the most in any game since January 2007. Since the C's pressure the ball side of the floor so intensely, James was able to set up on the weakside and wait for timely passes from the Heat's playmakers.
Despite a stellar game from long range, the Celtics could never sustain any offensive momentum. They came out flat, posting only 14 points in the first quarter. Rajon Rondo, the "head of the snake," crawled back into his hole (five turnovers, three field goals). For a normally poised veteran team, the Celtics showed a lot of frustration that didn't serve them well.