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Fast Break: Celtics – Cavs

05.09.10 at 6:32 pm ET

Final Score: Celtics 97, Cavaliers 87

The Celtics overcame an early deficit to hold on for a critical Game 4 win. The C’€™s tied up the Eastern Conference Semifinals series at one apiece as they head to Cleveland for Game 5 on Tuesday.

Player of the game: Rajon Rondo fueled the Celtics efforts with 29 points, 18 rebounds, and 13 assists in 47 minutes. The home crowd chanted ‘€œM-V-P’€ as he shot free throws at the close of the game.

First Quarter: Celtics 31, Cavaliers 22

By the time the Cavaliers had jumped out to a 7-0 lead, the Celtics had shot 0-for-3, been whistled for two fouls, and committed a turnover. It was only 2:13 into the game.

Then the shots began to fall for the Celtics. Ray Allen hit a jumper, Rajon Rondo drove the lane, and Kevin Garnett made it to the free throw line. The Celtics went on an 8-0 run before taking the lead, 13-12, with 6:22 to go. From that point on, they outscored the Cavs, 18-10, to end the first quarter leading by nine.

Rondo led all players with 11 points, five rebounds, and three assists. LeBron James led the Cavs with eight points. The Celtics outscored the Cavs 14-8 in the paint. They also outrebounded the Cavs, 13-6, and outscored them 7-0 on second chance points.

But the Celtics were not in the clear. Paul Pierce and Kendrick Perkins were sidelined early with two personal fouls. Rasheed Wallace picked up three in five minutes.

Halftime: Celtics 54 – Cavs 45

It was a physical first half between the Celtics and Cavaliers, leaving key members of both teams in foul trouble.

There were 31 personal fouls called, 18 on the Celtics and 13 on the Cavs. More importantly, key members of each squad were getting whistled:

Celtics: Rasheed Wallace (4), Ray Allen (3), Kendrick Perkins (3), Paul Pierce (2), Kevin Garnett (2), Tony Allen (2)

Cavs: Shaquille O’€™Neal (3), Antawn Jamison (2), Mo Williams (2), J.J. Hickson (2)

Rondo led all players with 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. James led the Cavs with 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. The C’€™s had a nine-point lead in spite of just five points from Paul Pierce, thanks in part to their defense. They are outrebounded the Cavs 24-16 and held them without any second chance points.

Rather than give up a basket, Paul Pierce intentionally fouled Shaq and drew his fourth personal.

Third Quarter: Celtics 74, Cavaliers 72

Foul trouble continued to plague the Celtics in the third quarter, as they saw their nine-point halftime lead dwindle.

Rather than give up a basket, Pierce intentionally Shaquille O’€™Neal and drew his fourth personal. The play sent Pierce to the bench with the Celtics up, 60-51, and 8:41 to go. The Cavs outscored the C’€™s, 21-14, the remainder of the quarter. Anderson Varejao tied the game at 67 apiece off of a driving layin before Tony Allen scored the Celtics final four points of the quarter to give them a two-point lead.

Rondo recorded a triple-double in the quarter with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. James and O’€™Neal scored 17 apiece for the Cavs.

Fourth quarter: Celtics 97, Cavaliers 87

The Celtics opened the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run, with eight of the points coming from Tony Allen and Glen Davis. It was a necessary boost as Ray Allen and Pierce were limited with five fouls apiece. (Ray Allen eventually fouled out.) But after the bench helped put the Celtics ahead, Doc Rivers turned to his starters to finish the job. All five starters were on the court with just under three minutes to play and the C’€™s up, 88-84. They closed out the game on a 9-3 run to give the Celtics a Game 4 win.

Game 4 Notes:

– There were 58 personal fouls issued between the Celtics and Cavs. Ray Allen fouled out, Pierce, Garnett, Perkins, and O’Neal were called for five, and Wallace, James, Jamison, and Williams were whistled for four.

– The Celtics outrebounded the Cavs, 47-33. After 18 boards from Rondo, no one on the C’s grabbed more than six. No Cavaliers reached 10 rebounds.

– The Celtics and Cavs combined for 5-for-35 from 3-point range. Ray Allen (1/8 3PG) hit the Celtics only trey.

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