Breaking down Boston's 'Big Three'

As the "Big Three" of the Miami Heat took over late in Game 4, the "Big Three" of the Boston Celtics faded noticeably, begging the question: Has the postseason wear and tear taken its toll on the Celtics trio?

With three days' rest, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen combined for 70 points in the Celtics Game 3 win. Two nights later, they combined for just 51 points on 16-of-42 (38.1 percent) shooting.

Garnett was the biggest culprit of the three. Following a 28-point, 18-rebound performance in Game 3, Garnett finished with 7 points on 1-of-10 shooting in Game 4. That marked his lowest field goal percentage in any of his 104 career playoff games.

So what happened?

It appeared that the Heat's athleticism wore down Boston's "Big Three." In the first and third quarters of Game 4, the Celtics were +8 when Allen, Garnett and Pierce were on the floor.

Celtics "Big 3" This Postseason
+/- by Quarter

But in the second quarter, fourth quarter and overtime, the Heat outscored the Celtics by 13 with Garnett, Pierce and Allen on the court.

This has been a trend all postseason for Boston's three stars.

In the first and third quarters this postseason, the Celtics are +74 with the "Big 3" on the court. However, in the second and fourth quarters -- perhaps without the benefit of an extended break -- the Celtics are -15 with Allen, Garnett and Pierce on the floor.

In a game that saw the Heat's "Big Three" score all 29 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, Boston's trio scored just 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting during that same stretch.