With a little help from what Kevin Garnett called the jungle of fans at the TD Garden on Friday night, the Boston Celtics downed the Miami Heat 101-91 to get a lifeline in their Eastern Conference Finals series.
Garnett, when speaking to reporters after the game said, The jungle was rockin' tonight, I want to thank all the fans that came out, the f---in' jungle was rockin tonight, loved it, f----in' loved it.
With the win, the Celtics now trail in the best of seven series 2-1 and now they can tie Sunday night on their home floor.
In game three, the Celtics finally started to take advantage of the missing Chris Bosh, by abandoning Miami forwards in order to run double teams at Dwyane Wade all night long. It worked: Wade was held to just 18 points on 9-of-20 from the floor.
The Celtics also stopped his streak of consecutive 20-point games in the playoffs at 12.
Boston also managed to hold Wade to 15 points in regulation in game two, but he went off in overtime, scoring eight of Miami's 16 in the extra frame.
The Celtics managed to win the game by rebounding. In game one they were out-rebounded 48-33 and they got blown out. In game two the teams tied with 42 boards apiece and the game went to overtime.
In game three Boston finally tipped the battle in their favor grabbing 44 boards to Miami's 32, despite going small with Brandon Bass in foul trouble. For most of game three Garnett, at 6-foot-10, and Paul Pierce, at 6-foot-7, were the tallest players on the floor for Boston.
In short, the Celtics got desperate in game three and scrapped a tough win away from a more talented opponent. If they can duplicate that feat going forward they may be headed to their third finals appearance in the past six seasons.
Where to watch: The game can be viewed online at FirstRowSports. It will also be broadcast nationally on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Prediction: The Celtics have found a way to beat the Heat with toughness and determination. They will most likely do it again, especially with the backing of a crazy Garden crowd that has turned so many games and so many series over the course of the rivalry.
Predicted Score: Boston over Miami 98-95