|Big shots, big pay off?||05.11.09 at 12:16 pm ET|
James Posey did it last season. Ben Gordon did it in the first round. In Game 4, Glen Davis did it too. All three made their marks on the eve of free agency. Gordon and Davis aren’ t the only ones vying for a contract this summer either. Here is a look at those still in the playoffs who could benefit from a strong postseason performance before they hit the free agent market next month:
ETO: Early Termination Option
PO: Player Option
|Game 4: Final Wrap||05.10.09 at 11:08 pm ET|
The Celtics have a new hero. Glen Davis hit two jumpers in the final 30 seconds, including the game-winner as time expired, to give the Celtics a 95-94 victory over the Magic in Game 4. Davis finished the night with 21 points (9-14 FG). Despite being hampered by five personal fouls, Paul Pierce led all scorers with 27 points. Dwight Howard posted 23 points and 17 rebounds for the Magic. Both teams battled through foul trouble in this game. 52 personal fouls were called, leading to 55 attempted free throws. The Celtics head back to Boston with this series tied 2-2. Game 5 will be played on Tuesday. Check back to Green Street for postgame reaction and analysis.
|Game 4: 5:48 to what?||05.10.09 at 10:31 pm ET|
With a little under nine minutes left to play, Bill Kennedy called Paul Pierce for a foul on an in-bounds play. It was the fifth for the captain and just another obstacle for the Celtics to deal with as they hope to take this series back to Boston tied a two games apiece.
Without Pierce, the Celtics have held off Orlando. Big Baby Davis, in particular has been, well, big, grabbing three very important rebounds. Eddie House checked in for Pierce leaving the Celtics with a small lineup of House, Rajon, Rondo, Ray Allen, Davis and Kendrick Perkins. Orlando, meanwhile, was running Hedo Turkoglu at the point and there are mismatches all over the floor for both sides.
As we come out of the under six-minute timeout Pierce is still on the bench. Expect him back soon.
|Game 4: Third quarter update||05.10.09 at 10:11 pm ET|
With just over four minutes remaining in the quarter, Paul Pierce went to the bench with is fourth foul. It was a tough blow for the Celtics as Pierce is in the midst of his best game of the series with 27 points and they had a 67-58 lead, their largest of the night.
The Celtics weathered the storm for a time but late in the quarter the Magic managed to cut the lead down to just two points after Courtney Lee made a pair of free throws. But the Celtics went on an 8-2 run to take a 79-71 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The last four minutes were not without some minor controversy. Doc Rivers nemesis Bill Kennedy whistled the Celtics for a defensive three-second technical, which turned into a four-point swing after Rashard Lewis made the free throw and Rafer Alston buried a 3-pointer. Rivers called timeout and had a lengthy conversation with Kennedy.
Then, Big Baby Davis took umbrage at Dwight Howard after a foul left him sprawling across the lane. Davis missed both free throws but he was key in helping the Celtics get through the quarter without the captain. Things settled down after that and we’re all set for a defining 12 minutes of the Celtics season. Do they have enough to take this series back to Boston tied at two games apiece, or are the Magic ready to take that proverbial next step?
|Game 4: A strategic shift||05.10.09 at 9:49 pm ET|
The Celtics came out for what might be the most important half of their season intent on putting the game in the hands of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. They have been running high isolation pick and rolls with Pierce at the point and Allen setting the screen.
Pierce, who scored 18 points in the first half, kept it going in the early minutes of the third quarter making a pair of jumpers and getting to the line. Allen, who was held to just four points on four shots also made a couple of pull-up jumpers. It’s a pretty radical shift in strategy but so far it’s paid dividends.
|Game 4: Halftime Update||05.10.09 at 9:24 pm ET|
The first half of Game 4 has been dictated by foul trouble. The tone was set early when Glen Davis was benched 46 seconds after the tip with his first personal. By the end of the first half, 29 fouls had been called and 25 free throws were taken.
Paul Pierce (18 points) scored seven straight points in the second quarter to lead the Celtics before being whistled for his third. Rashard Lewis (11 points) is the high scorer for the Magic.
Ray Allen still struggles on the offensive end. He has attempted just four field goals (4 points) and is 0-for-2 from three-point range.
There are two match ups to keep an eye on in the second half — the longtime battle between Pierce and Turkoglu as well as the emerging duel between Perkins (8 points, 9 rebounds) and Howard (9 points, 10 rebounds).
|Game 4: A foul situation||05.10.09 at 8:51 pm ET|
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