Game 4 between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics ended up as a very close affair, with the Celtics pulling it out 93-91 in overtime after two high-profile foul-outs from LeBron James and Paul Pierce. It was the kind of game where one different play might have changed the outcome.
It didn't always look that way, though, because Boston dominated the first half to give themselves a 61-47 halftime lead. On his way into the locker room, point guard Rajon Rondo stopped to talk with ESPN's Doris Burke about the game to that point. When she asked him what allowed the Celtics to score so many points on one of the best defenses in the league, Rondo gave a simple answer: "Them complaining and crying to referees in transition."
[Marc J. Spears: The Heat's LeBron James didn't enjoy the way his Game 4 ended]
It was a surprising comment, if only because these halftime interviews are usually so boilerplate. Yet this was a big enough deal for Burke to follow up the question in the postgame interview, after the Celtics had emerged victorious and the Heat had come back stronger. Rondo stuck to his words and said they were true at the time. (After the interview, Burke took Rondo aside to tell him something in private, which many assumed to be that it wasn't her idea to ask the follow-up question.)
The Heat likely won't be too happy about these comments, but Rondo shouldn't see any discipline from the league. The NBA tends only to get upset about criticism of the referees, not how much the opposition might complain. Given the score at the time, Rondo probably didn't have many issues with how the game had been called. The only blowback he might see from this incident will come from the Heat in Game 5. Something tells me they won't be too happy.
(Video via EOB)
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