For most of Monday night's game against Miami, the Boston Celtics were able to manage quite nicely without their emotional leader, Kevin Garnett (flu, adductor strain).

But as the game came near an end and Miami rallied for a 105-103 win, Boston failed to maintain control of the boards, they couldn't establish any kind of low-post presence and the defense could not keep LeBron James and company from getting into the paint as Miami outscored the C's in that category, 50-34.

"LeBron killed us in the paint," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "Some of that, yeah, maybe not having Kevin. But we made some bad mistakes."

Try 21 of them, as in 21 turnovers which led to 24 points for the Heat which is far too many to any team let alone the NBA's defending champion.

"I tell them playoff games come down to single possessions through the game," Rivers said. "I just thought overall we made too many mistakes to win the game."

And those mistakes would prove costly, a point that's not lost on veterans such as Paul Pierce.

"It's always gonna come down to the little things," Pierce said. "And those things really add up at the end of the day when you have a two-point loss."