BOSTON -- Here's a free tip for any team looking to complete a sweep: Don't let members of the 2004 New York Yankees into your building.
The Miami Heat learned that lesson the hard way, after welcoming both Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter to sit courtside for Tuesday night's Game 4 against the Boston Celtics. With the Heat ahead 3-0, the former MLB stars wanted to see the Heat complete the sweep with their own eyes. At halftime, with the Heat up by six, it appeared they'd be getting their wish.
Yet once the TNT game broadcast showed the two stars on a split screen, followed by an image of the 2004 Red Sox celebrating a Game 7 win at Yankee Stadium, things changed.
The Celtics went on a spirited third-quarter run, flipping the game on its head and taking a lead that they'd never relinquish.
Boston won the game by way of a blowout, 116-99, and the series now heads back to Boston for Game 5.
Naturally, Celtics fans didn't have any trouble pinpointing the moment that this game changed.
(If you're curious, Derek Jeter admitted in his big documentary series that the blown lead in 2004. He or thinking about it ... so all of the attention from Tuesday night likely won't please him.)
It stands to reason that the Heat might kindly ask Jeter and A-Rod to stay home if the series makes it back to Miami for Game 6. The '04 Yankees were the only team to blow a 3-0 lead, and the Heat are trying to avoid becoming the first basketball team to commit that grievous accomplishment. It's probably best to keep them at arm's length for the time being.
But the Celtics? They may want to see if the duo wants to sit courtside for Game 5 on Thursday night. They might receive a Mariano Rivera-esque ovation from the thankful Boston fans.
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