Marquis Daniels, maybe the Celtics’ best perimeter defender on the bench (with Mickael Pietrus slowed by a knee injury) had played just two minutes in the first two games. And he played just eight minutes in the conference semifinals.
But on Friday, Daniels checked in with 1:36 to go in the first quarter and earned an extended stay on the floor, as the Heat went scoreless over a stretch of 12 possessions. The Celtics went on a 15-0 run to turn a six-point deficit into a nine-point lead.
Daniels contributed to the run with a bucket off a feed from Paul Pierce and a nice high-low assist to Kevin Garnett. And after James Jones ended the Miami drought, Daniels responded with an and-one off an offensive rebound.
Daniels finished with nine points, four boards, an assist and a steal. Most important, the Celtics outscored the Heat by 14 points in his 17 minutes on the floor.