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Game 5 | Celtics 94, Heat 90

Celtics win Game 5, push Heat to brink

Head coach Doc Rivers and the Celtics celebrated at the end of Game 5.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Head coach Doc Rivers and the Celtics celebrated at the end of Game 5.

MIAMI — The return of Chris Bosh was expected to give the Heat an edge in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. But Bosh played only briefly and the wild card turned out to be reserve guard Mickael Pietrus as the Celtics took a 94-90 victory and the lead in the series with a chance to close things out in Game 6 at TD Garden Thursday night.

The Celtics found a successful combination with their small lineup — Pietrus replacing starter Brandon Bass and totaling 13 points, also upping the team’s defensive effectiveness.

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The Heat reverted to overdependence on LeBron James (30 points) and Dwyane Wade (27 points), who scored 32 of Miami’s 48 second-half points.

The Celtics made their run late in the third quarter, a 15-1 rally providing a 5-point advantage. They retained the 5-point lead early in the final quarter. Then, James and Wade rallied the Heat to a 78-72 lead with a 9-point run over a 2:23 span. James got a layup and 3-pointer, then Wade two foul shots and a left-hand drive.

Wade blocked a Bass dunk attempt, but Rajon Rondo spiked the rebound to Pietrus for a 3-pointer to get the Celtics within 78-75 with 6:01 left. Ray Allen squandered a chance to tie with a missed 3-pointer, the Heat calling a timeout with 5:16 remaining.

Wade missed out of the timeout and Rondo cut the deficit to 78-77 with a running hook. Wade hit an open jumper, then Rondo followed his own miss. Rondo missed a jumper with a chance to give the Celtics the advantage, then Kevin Garnett (26 points, 11 rebounds) blocked a James drive and hit a jumper after Pietrus retained possession in a scramble for a loose ball. Mario Chalmers was issued a technical and Allen’s free throw made it 82-80 with 2:54 to go.

Chalmers and Pietrus traded 3-pointers. Then, Wade drove to tie the score with 1:39 left, but the Celtics ran off the make and Paul Pierce got two foul shots five seconds later for an 87-85 edge.

Udonis Haslem made a foul shot after an offensive rebound, then Pierce, who started the game 2 for 11, faced up against James for a 3-pointer and a 90-86 advantage with 52.9 seconds left.

Chalmers missed a 3-point try out of a timeout and the Heat retained possession as the rebound went out of bounds – the call overturned on a video replay with 41.1 left. Rondo missed a jumper and Wade hit two foul shots with 15.2 to go. Allen got two free throws out of a timeout, then James drove out of a timeout, the Celtics regaining possession and calling a timeout with 9.4 seconds on the clock.

Garnett drew a foul from Haslem on the in-bounds pass, upping the edge to 94-90 with 8.8 left. Wade missed a 3-pointer and Garnett rebounded to end it.

Running

The Celtics trailed from the first minute of the game, but rallied late in the third quarter to take a 5-point advantage as reserves Mickael Pietrus and Keyon Dooling broke the tie in the final 28 seconds of the quarter.

Wade struggled to score 7 points in the opening half, then scored 6 in the opening 2:29 of the second half, carrying the Miami offense. The Celtics concentrated on establishing Garnett early in the second half, and he got two dunks and a free throw off Rondo feeds, plus a jumper in the opening 4:18. But Miami went on a 9-0 run over a 2:14 period, taking a 59-50 lead on a Udonis Haslem inside move with 5:53 left in the quarter.

The Celtics stayed in contention by shutting down the Miami offense. Ray Allen got a steal to ignite a 15-1 Celtic run over the final 5:10 of the quarter. Pierce made a jumper and Greg Stiemsma a layup, then a free throw. The Celtics appeared to be struggling against Miami’s aggressive, overplaying defense — committing a backcourt violation, plus a technical foul as Brandon Bass slammed the ball in frustration after a turnover. But the Celtics were able to get into transition, closing the quarter with a 65-60 lead.

Garnett tied it, 60-60, with a dunk for a 3-point play off a delayed fast break, started by a Pierce rebound of a James miss, Garnett left alone by the Heat as a trailer. Then, Pietrus sank a jumper and Dooling a 3-pointer.

end

The Celtics missed their first six shots before Brandon Bass hit a second-chance jumper 2:55 into the contest. The Celtics converted four of their next five attempts, a Garnett banker pulling them within 11-9. with 7:19 remaining in the quarter.

The Celtics then hit a four-minute scoring drought, going 0 for 6 from the field before . Pierce then scored on a drive out of a timeout.

But the Heat took a 24-13 advantage with an 8-0 run over a 65-second span. Bosh missed his first shot, then banked in a 12-footer and converted a 3-point play following a Mike Miller 3-pointer.

Mickael Pietrus hit a free throw and Pierce scored off a James turnover to cut the Celtic deficit to 24-16 after a quarter.

The Celtics started the second quarter 1 for 6 from the field before Rondo flipped in a left-hand follow to pull them within 31-23. with 7:58 left in the half. James scored 7 points in the opening 2:19 of the second quarter, extending the Heat lead to 31-18. with 9:41 left in the half. With James on the bench, the Celtics continued to rally, three Ray Allen free throws getting them within 31-26. with 7:01 remaining.

James returned to hit a banker for a 34-26 Miami edge. The Heat started the second quarter 4 for 12 over 6:23, James going 4 for 4 and his teammates 0 for 8. Bosh and James were the only Heat players to make field goals in the second quarter.

Garnett capped a 10-4 Celtic run with a transition hoop to cut the deficit to 38-36 with 2:02 to go. Brandon Bass started the rally with two free throws. Pietrus missed a dunk, then Bass dunked. against Mario Chalmers.

Bosh scored on a follow, then Pietrus and Garnett converted on three transition possessions. Garnett established position on the low post and outran Bosh on fast breaks to score 6 points in a 1:49 span.

Bass missed a dunk (his only failed attempt of the half) out of a timeout, but Rondo stole the rebound from Shane Battier, the ball going to Bass, who successfully stuffed this time, the Heat holding a 42-40 halftime advantage.

The Celtics shot 14 for 42 (33.3 percent) in the opening half. The Heat were was 15 for 41 (36.6 percent), concluding the half with a 4:08 field goal drought.

The Celtics trailed from the first minute of the game, but rallied late in the third quarter to take a 5-point advantage as reserves Mickael Pietrus and Keyon Dooling broke the tie in the final 28 seconds of the quarter.

Wade struggled to score 7 points in the opening half, then scored 6 in the opening 2:29 of the second half, carrying the Miami offense.

The Celtics concentrated on establishing Garnett early in the second half, and he got two dunks and a free throw off Rondo feeds, plus a jumper in the opening 4:18. But Miami went on a 9-0 run over a 2:14 period, taking a 59-50 lead on a Udonis Haslem inside move with 5:53 left in the quarter.

The Celtics stayed in contention by shutting down the Miami offense. Allen got a steal to ignite a 15-1 Celtic run over the final 5:10 of the quarter.

Pierce made a jumper and Stiemsma a layup, then a free throw. The Celtics appeared to be struggling against Miami’s aggressive, overplaying defense — committing a backcourt violation, plus a technical foul as Bass slammed the ball in frustration after a turnover.

But the Celtics were able to get into transition, closing the quarter with a 65-60 lead.

Garnett tied it, 60-60, with a dunk for a 3-point play off a delayed fast break, started by a Pierce rebound of a James miss, Garnett left alone by the Heat as a trailer. Then, Pietrus sank a jumper and Dooling a 3-pointer.

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