MIAMI As much as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh chafed at the trash talk, the head games and even the pushups each time they have played Boston, deep down they knew there was a reason the Celtics, after putting Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett alongside Paul Pierce had won a title, lost another in Game 7, and never, ever went down without a fight.
The Celtics not only played with heart of a champion, but with the head of one.
That's what had to make Miami's 101-88 victory Saturday night in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals so gratifying.
This wasn't so much the nouveau Big Three vanquishing the standard bearer as it was the Heat keeping alive their championship-or-bust season by winning the Celtics' way.
In a game that was thick with tension and drama, befitting not only a Game 7, but this entire series, it was the Celtics that blinked, not the Heat.
For nearly 12 minutes in the second half, neither team led by more than two points. Then James rose ...