“IT HAS HAPPENED!” - Gary Cohen
Johan Santana pitches the first no-hitter in New York Mets history - June 1st, 2012 - New York Mets vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Johan Santana celebrates after throwing a no-hitter against the Cardinals on Friday. Santana became the first pitcher in Mets history to hurl a no-hitter as the Mets cruised to a 8-0 victory. (Mike Strobe/SI)
GALLERY: Most Recent No Hitters By Team
best picture ever
Game 4: Miami at Boston
It’s hard to wrap your head around what manner of play could have facilitated an overtime session where the leading scorers for both teams have fouled out. It’s so rare you don’t even think about the possibility until you realize both players have 5 fouls and we’re headed towards an extra 5 minutes of action. Then, one gets whistled for an offensive foul and about a minute later, the same thing happens to the other; since both fouls occurred away from the ball, you could even guess at a conspiracy, if you’re one of those people that believe in such things. I am not. So lets put the Paul Pierce and LeBron James overtime fouls out of the way. They’re useless in describing what happened, even as they’re part of the ending.
The Celtics came out smoking, taking an 11 point lead in the 1st quarter and adding 4 more to that advantage by half-time. Keyon Dooling was hitting corner 3’s like he was back at the University of Missouri. Paul Pierce scored 12 points in the 1st quarter, and Rajon Rondo was the piston driving the engine.
Rondo was plugged in from the very beginning. After Garnett won the opening toss and the ball was headed towards Rondo in the Celtics’ back-court, he knocked the ball with his head up into the air before letting it fall into step with a dribble up-court to start the game. This sort of soccer display is par for the course when it’s Steve Nash, but when it’s the cerebral Rondo, you know he’s ready, and so were the Celtics.
Everyone knew the Heat were coming back though; and it only helped matters when Ja Ratasfari Ra-jon decided to take a conspicuous dig at the Heat during his halftime interview with Doris Burke. When she asked him what holes the Celtics were exploiting on their way to 61 first half points, Rondo replied, without a flutter of irony:
“Um, them complaining and crying to the referees and transition.”
So, yeah, you can be sure that got back to the Heat crew, as Wade could be shown yammering with Rajon later in the second half.
Dwyane Wade has made it his habit to let LeBron control the ball in the opening half, before he starts exploding to the bucket in the second. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even warm up; preferring to let the first couple quarters take the place of some routine practice jumpers before the game. It works for the second half, but if you’re a Heat fan, you wish he’d get going just a few hours earlier.
The Heat came back on the strength of their defense combined with the woeful way the Celtics scored the ball in the second half. The Celtics only managed 28 points COMBINED in the second half. That doesn’t mean the Celtics didn’t score. Oh, they had to if they were going to even force an overtime, its just the scoring was so limited, the Heat didn’t even need a big run to get back into it—they just chipped away and by the 4th quarter they were only down 5. With 8:53 remaining in the game, a LeBron James lay-in tied the score at 74 and the Garden crowd sounded like a Wake, complete with sad drinking.
After tying the score, the game turned into a battle of wills, with neither team getting head by more than 3. Meanwhile, Rondo continued his extraterristrial play.
In the final seconds of regulation, LeBron passed out of a double team and Udonis Haslem—he was his usual stout, best with 17 rebounds and enough glares to give Boston kids nightmares for a month—forced a shot to beat the clock that drew nothing but air.
The overtime saw the aforementioned 6th fouls on Pierce and ‘Bron, but it was Rondo that saved the day. He’s been so good in this series, it’s not crazy to think he’s the best single player of these playoffs. He had 15 assists and the last 3 points of overtime. Dwyane Wade had a chance to get the out-right win with a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and as every ESPN analyst said after the game, he should have jumped into Mickael Pietrus, rather than take the wide open 3 that missed.
LeBron watched from the sideline, and his downcast gaze mirrored all the Heat fans and players as they realized this wasn’t going to be as easy as they all thought.
Not only that, but Rajon Rondo is an alien, and the earthlings still haven’t figured out how to slow him down. Game 5 back in Miami is gonna be a doozy.
Final: BOSTON CELTICS 93 - Miami Heat 91
The Celtics and Heat are tied 2-2