Last night was truly an uphill battle throughout the game for the NBA champions, which truly tested the team’s mental toughness. Without Rajon Rondo or Kevin Garnett, the Celtics gave the Heat everything they could handle, holding double-digit leads several times in the game.
Jeff Green was mostly recognized for his career night, in which he torched the Heat with a ridiculous 43-point outburst, but he did a great job defensively as well. Miami’s offensive game plan at the end of the fourth quarter was simple — isolate LeBron on the left wing and let him do his thing. Green made James work, stopping two of his layup attempts in crunch time.
Back in the day, after missing a couple of easy shots, James would probably not have had the courage to take the last shot. Yet there he was, with the clock ticking down, isolated against the red-hot Green once again. This time he did not drive to the basket, but instead stepped into a mid-range jumper and separated the teams by two points.
While Green might have surprised everyone and stolen the show at TD Garden, James put up yet another MVP-type performance with 37 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds.
Having overcome the gritty Boston team, Miami is now on the second-longest winning streak in NBA history, 10 games away from the all-time record of the Los Angeles Lakers. That alone is an absolutely incredible achievement.
Vytis is a Miami Heat and NBA columnist for RantSports. You can follow him on Twitter here: @VytisLasaitis