Celtics 97 Cavaliers 92 – Another game 7 for Boston, another heated duel. Instead of Larry Bird and Dominique Wilkins it was Paul Pierce (41 pts) and Lebron James (45 pts). Every time one would score, the other would answer with a basket of his own. Pierce who has yet to have a career defining game might have found one at the right time. Although Paul had a great offensive game, it was a loose ball that summed up how badly he wanted this. With a little over a minute left, a jumpball between Zydrunas Ilgauskas and James Posey was called. Big Z tried to tip the ball to Lebron, but Pierce cut in front of Lebron to knock the ball away. With the game still in the balance, he dove head first and controlled the ball; while calling timeout and having Delonte West draped on top of him. The yell he released after that play said it all. This is our house and we will do whatever it takes to protect it.
Although the game will be remembered for the showdown of two All-Stars, it was ultimately the supporting casts that impacted the game. The Celtics role players came up big while the Cavs did not. It was PJ Brown, a late season acquisition that stood above the rest. Known for his great defense, it was on the offensive end where he made his point; grabbing offensive boards resulting in put-back layups. With Boston holding onto a 3-point lead, it was Brown again who nailed a open 17-footer to extend that Celtic lead to what would be an insurmountable five points. Cleveland did not have an answer of it’s own as Delonte West was the only other player in double figures with 15 points. But his 6 turnovers turned to be huge in a game where every possession matters. The Celtics welcome Detroit to Boston Tuesday night as they open the Eastern Conference Championship series.