But the Celtics werent done.
Ray Allen swished a three-pointer off a deflection to put the Celtics ahead 79-78 with 7:30 left and Garnett tipped in a miss by Brandon Bass to put Boston ahead by four points.
The Heat stormed back from a 14-point halftime deficit in the third quarter. Led by nine points from Wade, the Heat cut Bostons lead to 73-68 to begin the fourth quarter. Wade struggled significantly in the first half but found his groove in the second. His three-pointer to close out the third quarter gave the Heat momentum entering the final period. The Heat outscored Boston 21-12 in the third quarter.
I guess we just decided to play some defense, Wade said. They were carving us up at the beginning of the game.
Wade started the game 1 of 8 from the field before hitting an out-of-character three-pointer with 1:46 left in the first half. It cut the Celtics lead to 58-43 but Allen answered immediately with his third three-pointer of the half. The Celtics made 7 of 16 attempts from three-point range in the first half. Allen finished with 16 points. Garnett had 17 points and 14 rebounds. Keyon Dooling was 3 of 4 from three-point range and finished with 10 points of the bench.
It was a difficult two-game stretch for Wade, who has never exactly played up to his potential in Boston. Not only did Wade struggle at TD Garden but he inexplicably drew attention to his coach after Fridays loss when he told reporters it was up to Spoelstra to devise a counter for Celtics coach Doc Rivers mastery of Game 3.
Exactly what adjustments were made between Games 3 and 4, whos to say? The Heat gave up 61 points in the first half, the most of any half this postseason.
During his halftime interview with ESPN, Rondo summed up the Heats first-half shortcomings thusly: Theyre complaining and crying to the referees in transition.
Meanwhile, Rondo had eight points and 10 assists in the first half. His back-to-back assists on three-pointers by Allen and Dooling gave Boston a 40-26 lead less than two minutes into the second quarter.
Back to back three-point plays by Paul Pierce gave the Celtics an 18-point lead with less than three minutes in the first half. Pierce entered Sunday without a dominate performance in the series but delivered in Game 4. He scored 20 points in the first half but scored just two points in the final two periods and overtime.
The game was 17-minutes old before the Heat attempted its first free throw. James missed it, of course. The Heat finished the game 17 of 24 from the line, a significant improvement from its 10-of-20 effort in Game 3.
We waited until the second half, which we cant do, James said. In Game 3 we cant wait until we get down and then make a push. Tonight we gave ourselves a chance to win but we cant continue to dig ourselves a hole in the first two and half quarters and then decide to turn it on.