Celtics Dominate Heat, Cut Series Deficit

Kevin Garnett had his best game yet in the series, while Rajon Rondo provided the emotional spark by literally playing with one hand in the fourth quarter as the Boston Celtics cut their Eastern Conference semifinals deficit to 2-1 by pummeling the Miami Heat, 97-81, on Saturday at the TD Garden.

Garnett scored 28 points and grabbed 18 rebounds as he dominated Miami’s inside defense. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen added 27 and 15 points, respectively, but the story of the game for Boston was Rondo. The 25-year-old point guard dislocated his left elbow after getting in tangled with Miami’s Dwayne Wade late in the third quarter.

However, Rondo would return at the start of the fourth quarter and later score four points—a dunk and a driving lay-up over LeBron James—all with his left arm dangling at his side. Rondo eventually finished with only six points, but he dished out 11 assists and directed the Celtics offense effectively. “I didn’t have to do much scoring — just directing,” he said. “That’s using your mouth, using my legs.”

The defending Eastern Conference champions Celtics have a chance to tie the series on Monday, when they host the Heat for Game 4.