BOSTON -- LeBron James had a good courtside seat for the Heats second consecutive loss to the Celtics.
A helpless bystander after fouling out in overtime, James could do nothing but watch as the Celtics tied these Eastern Conference finals at 2-2 with a 93-91 victory on Sunday night at TD Garden. James led the Heat with 29 points and helped lead an inspired comeback in the second half but wasnt on the floor for the most important minutes of this series.
He fouled out with 1:51 remaining in overtime after slamming into Mickael Pietrus. The Heat trailed 92-91 after James left the game. After Rajon Rondo made 1 of 2 free throws, Dwyane Wade had a chance to tie or win the game but his three-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark.
He had it in his hands and I could tell he was going for the win, James said. He got Marquis up in the air, stepped through and it was a matter of inches when it comes to making or missing. But he got a really good look.
And so did James, who disagreed after the game with the call on his sixth foul.
I dont foul out, James said. I dont foul out. If Im going to foul out, that sixth foul, I wish I would have earned it and it actually would have been a foul on me. But, whatever.
Wade finished with 20 points on 7 of 22 shooting and played the entire second half and overtime. Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 23 points before fouling out in overtime. Rondo had 15 points and 15 assists.
I got a good look, Wade said of his final shot. It just didnt go in.
James drilled a three-pointer with 37.5 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 89-89. On the Celtics next possession, he forced a turnover when he absorbed a charge by Kevin Garnett. With 21.1 seconds left and the game tied, the Heat had time to draw up a potential game-winning play. Whatever coach Erik Spoelstra drew up went off script when James passed to Udonis Haslem at the buzzer, who air-balled a jump shot. James pass to Haslem was partially deflected.
When he gets doubled, I come from the strong side and try to get in LeBrons vision, Haslem said. I dont think we would do anything differently. I we could, I would have probably pulled a little higher, so he could get a better passing angle.
Garnett put the Celtics ahead by three points with 2:43 left. An offensive rebound by Haslem kept possession alive for Mario Chalmers, who missed a three-point attempt but then delivered with a driving layup to cut Bostons lead to 87-86 with 1:01 to play.
Haslem finished with 12 points and 17 rebounds. Chalmers had 12, four assists and three rebounds.
A double foul on James and Garnett with 5:32 left gave James his fifth foul. James picked up his fourth foul 15 seconds earlier when Michael Pietrus drew an offensive charge.
A 13-1 run by the Heat spanning the third and four quarters sliced the Celtics lead to nothing. With 8:45 remaining in the game, the Heat tied the game for the first time since the opening tip. The Celtics called a timeout but its offense continued to sputter. Meanwhile, the Heat got a boost from an unlikely source, Norris Cole.
With Mario Chalmers in foul trouble, Cole entered the game with less than five minutes to play in the third quarter. He gave the Heat its first lead of the game with 8:23 left and then put the Heat ahead 78-76 with 7:41 left in the game.