The Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce wasn’t ready to let Miami’s Dwayne Wade outduel him in another game. So, with the game tied at 98-98 and seconds left on the clock, Pierce hit a long jumper as the buzzer sounded to give the Celtics a 100-98 win over Miami in their Friday, April 23 Game 3 of the Eastern Conference first-round matchup.

Wade was sensational with 32 points, eight assists, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks before leaving the game with a calf injury after missing a three-pointer with 14 seconds remaining.

Wade has been averaging 29.6 points in the series, while Pierce has averaged 14.5 points in the first two games as Boston simply overwhelmed the undermanned Heat in the first two games. But playing against a Miami team inspired by their home crowd, Pierce saved his best game of the series for a critical time, finishing with 32 points.

Pierce still received plenty of help from his reliable teammates. Ray Allen scored 25 points, while Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett combined for 33 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds.

Besides Wade, Miami’s players have struggled to score points consistently against Boston in the series, but came alive in Game 3 with four other players scoring in double figures.


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO