The Bulls ended up victorious after four hours of battle with the defending champs. This series had already tied the NBA record for most overtime periods in a series ... before tonight's triptych of extra frames. And for each overtime, there was a mess of incredible and unforgettable plays.
Series Tied 3-3 | Next Game: Saturday, 8 PM @ Boston
Regulation even had some crazy! Rajon Rondo and Kirk Hinrich got into a tussle. Tangled, Rondo seemed to jerk Hinrich's arm, which served to throw Captain Kirk into the scorer's table. Hinrich is business, and bum rushed Rondo. Both fellows stayed in the game. They would figure in important moments later. (FORESHADOWING!)
Ray Allen's hand stayed on fire the entire game. He hit nine of 18 three-pointers, and scored a ridiculous 51 on the night. With 20 seconds left in the second overtime and the Celtics down three, Allen came off a screen in the right corner and nailed a long jumper. BUT ... his toes touched the line. The Celtics remained down one.
Brad Miller hit two free throws at the other end. With seven seconds left, Allen got free at the left elbow. You can guess what happened next. It involved twine and singing. This all led to the third overtime, which included the following:
* Joakim Noah steals the ball from Paul Pierce on a trap near midcourt, takes it the length of the floor, dunks the ball violently while drawing a foul ... Pierce's sixth.
* Glen Davis knocks Lindsay Hunter into 1973 with a pick that freed up Eddie House, who -- down three -- nailed a jumper from ... two inches inside the three-point arc.
* Up one with the shot clock off and 23 seconds left, Hinrich gets free under the rim. Instead of burning time and taking the foul, Hinrich goes for the lefty lay-up. He misses. Celtics rebound with the ball, a one-point deficit, a timeout and 16 seconds left.
* After the timeout, Rondo gets the ball and sets up left side. Derrick Rose cuts off the drive, and Rondo is forced to take a turnaround fade-away from 12 feet. And Rose blocks it. To save the game.
* Rose gets the ball, misses two free throws, and Rondo misses the desperation midcourt shot. Bulls win.
That was all just the closing moments of one of three overtimes! The rest was as crazy! We will be talking about this game and this series for a long, long time.
Game 7 is Saturday. I implore you to watch it.