Celtics lose golden opportunity with a clang

On the other side of the country, there sat Steph Curry and his pals, no doubt chuckling with every brick off the backboards and high-speed collision pick.

The Golden State Warriors could not care less as to which clown car they see pull up to the curb next Thursday night. Or is there a plausible reason to expect that either the Miami Heat or Boston Celtics can create basketball drama in the NBA Finals?

It’s looking like the Heat will play the role of the Washington Generals against the Golden State Globetrotters. That takes a bit of the edge off the painful that the Celtics have taken a wonderful opportunity and tossed it into the trash bin.

It took them six tries to hit that trash bin, a shooting percentage that comes naturally to this club when it scrapes bottom.

As opportunities go, they don’t get much shinier than the one the Celtics chucked. They won Game 5 in Miami, giving them a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals, with Game 6 on Friday night at the Garden.

Properly seasoned Celtics fans, ones who have been studying this basketball enigma all season, immediately recognized that Game 6 would be far more annoying than entertaining.

The Garden crowd was pumped. The noise level reached to the heavens when the Celtics took the opening tip.

Jayson Tatum makes a pass into the lane and is picked off by P.J. Tucker.

The tone had been set.

A brick here, a brick down there, and Tucker hits a corner 3.

The crowd’s volume ebbed.

And for the rest of the night, the Celtics engaged in a clangfest, sprinkling in carelessness with the basketball seldom seen in May on national TV.

Miami controlled the game’s rhythm for the rest of the night. The Celtics could never quite cobble together any sort of extended run, their one shot at pulling off an unearned run peaked midway through the fourth quarter.

Derrick White nails a 3, the Celtics lead 97-94 with 4:43 left.

The time for a serious run had arrived.

And the Heat made it happen.

Miami outscored Boston 17-6 over the final 4:43.

Ill-advised 3’s, missed free throws, lack of rebounding, a few more turnovers …

… And it’s on to Game 7.

If Game 7 starts like Game 6, look for a baseball game on ESPN.

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