Boston, MA (Sporting Alert) — Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics will look close out the Miami Heat tonight with a win at home in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference finals.
Coverage: ESPN | ESPN3.com
8:30 PM ET, June 7, 2012
TD Garden, Boston, MA
The Celtics recovered brilliantly from being 2-0 down in the series to take a 3-2 lead in the battle and can book a place in the championship game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which ended the San Antonio Spurs’ season on Wednesday night.
”We have one home game left, and that’s it in this series,” coach Doc Rivers said Wednesday.
”We have to understand that, and we have to come with that sense of urgency. Our guys understand that, and I think so does Miami.”
Kevin Garnett finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds in Boston’s 94-90 victory over Miami Tuesday night, while Paul Pierce added 19 points and both Ray Allen and Mickael Pietrus, but it’s Rondo’s 13 assists and four steal performance that has the pundits believing the Celtics will close out last year’s beaten finallists.
LeBron James had a big double-double night of 30 points and 13 rebounds, while Dwyane Wade added 27 points in the defeat for the Heat.
But apart from Udonis Haslem’s 14 rebound outing, no other Miami players were effective, even with Chris Bosh returning to the line-up.
The Heat know that it will be another failed season if they should lose tonight and get dumped from the NBA and Wade says they plan to go all out.
”We plan to win the ballgame. We’ve got to win. That’s all we’ve got to do,” Wade said. ”Can’t listen to the noise.
“I’m not. I’m sure our team is not. We’re just focused on winning this ballgame.”
Bosh, who returned from a lower abdominal strain, which forced him to miss nine playoff games – is expected to return to the starting lineup after declaring himself fit to play more minutes.
Bosh came off the bench in the defeat in Miami Tuesday night, but Heat coach Erik Spoelstra hinted that he could start.
”I think he’ll be able to handle a bigger load of minutes,” said Spoelstra. ”It’ll be based more on how he feels during the game.”