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Monday, May 10, 2010
Cavs: You just got Rondo'd
Remember that time Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo outplayed the two-time MVP LeBron James, in the Eastern Conference Semifinals?
This is most definitely real life and that was Rondo getting the MVP chants in the final moments of yesterday's season saving 97-87 win at the TD Garden in Game 4. The series is now tied at two with the pivotal Game 5 tomorrow night in Cleveland.
It might be ahead of schedule but Rondo is the franchise right now, not the Big Three. He had 29 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists yesterday, probably the best game of his four-year career which has quickly found the path to superstardom.
Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen added 18 points, which offset another ice cold game by Paul Pierce (9 points). Tony Allen also provided a huge lift off the bench with 15 points. The two biggest highlights in a game full of incredible plays was Rondo and Tony Allen finding each other for layups off behind the back feeds.
LeBron James (22 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 7 assists) couldn't do it all by himself as Cleveland's supporting cast looks more shaky with each passing game. Shaq was the second leading scorer with 17 points, which is all you need to know.
Antawn Jamison had 14 points but he's getting manhandled by KG down low, it's clear that he's a finesse player not built for this rough and tumble series. And Mo Williams scored 13 points but Rondo is literally running circles around him.
This was a game Boston had to have and their defense delivered. They held the Cavs to 40.3% from the floor and a pathetic 4 for 19 on 3-pointers. The Celts won all the hustle points with a 47-33 rebounding advantage, four more steals (10-6) and three more blocks (8-5).
Thanks to Rondo's brilliance, the C's outscored Cleveland 23-7 on fastbreak points and 50-40 in the paint.
It'll take a similarly inspired performance to take Game 5. Whoever wins that will likely win the series. All the pressure is back on the Cavs so the Celtics are in a great spot to pull off the upset.