Despite immense amounts of media hype, video game simulations, and commercials featuring everything from sports drinks to muppets; the NBA is not getting a Kobe/Lebron finals match-up. The Lakers/Magic finals series could be far more entertaining, as Orlando is a more well-rounded squad than the Lebron-centric Cavs. On the way to the championship series, the Magic eliminated the last two Eastern Conference Champions (including the defending NBA Champion Celtics), and beat a very capable 76ers team.
The Los Angeles Lakers were taken to the brink by a Tracy McGrady-less rockets, and traded licks with a very tough Denver Nuggets squad. While neither of the two teams have played as many as last year’s 7-game-series-heavy Celtics, both have been through multiple drawn out matchups with tough opponents. Expect Laker forward “Candy Man” Lamar Odom and his Magic counterpart Hedo Turkgolu to vie for most 3-pointers, as an undercard to the Kobe/Howard athletics.
The series starts on Thursday night, so get your 2009 NBA Finals tickets now!
The Houston Rockets won a very physical game 1 against the heavily favored Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night. The Lakers fell behind early, and never managed to catch up again. “I think we were hungry to win the first game, like we had in the first game of the last (series),” Rockets Center Yao Ming told the AP. “We know we have to respect them. They will come back strong in Game 2.” Ming was briefly sidelined by a knee-to-knee collision with LA’s Kobe Bryant, but returned later. Yao hit a jumper and converted all six trips to the free throw line.
Despite a 32-point effort from Bryant, the Lakers fell short.”I’m fine,” Bryant said in a post-game interview. “My energy felt fine, I was OK. “We just blew some defensive assignments at key moments.” Los Angeles looks to take advantage of home court advantage in game 2, scheduled for Wednesday night at 10:30pm Eastern.
Los Angeles Lakers playoff tickets and Houston Rockets Playoff tickets are available now!
Atlanta Hawks 81, Miami Heat 71.
Azaza Pachulia dominated the glass for the Hawks with 18 rebounds, helping Atlanta regain their home court advantage with a 81-71 win over the Miami Heat. The Hawks scoring was basically split between Bibby, Johnson, and Smith scoring 15, 14, and 13. Atlanta coach Mike Woodson stated that Pachulia was the crucial factor to the win. “Zaza was huge throughout the whole game,” said Woodson. “I mean, 18 rebounds, 12 points for us, and we needed all that tonight to survive.” Dwayne Wade scored 22 for the Heat and Jermaine O’Neal contributed 20, but Miami was never ahead and only shot 38 percent.
Denver Nuggets 121, New Orleans Hornets 63.
Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets with 26 points and was taken out in the fourth quarter due to the 58 point blow out over the New Orleans Hornets. The victory matched the biggest lopsided contest in NBA playoff history, which came in 1956 when the Minneapolis Lakers beat the St. Louis Hawks 133-75. The Hornets will need their All-Star point guard Chris Paul to step up in order for them to stay in the series. The Nuggets held Paul to just 4 points and 6 assists. Denver leads the series 3-1.
Los Angeles Lakers 107, Utah Jazz 96.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers to finish the series in 5 games with 31 points against the Utah Jazz last night at the Staples Center. The Lakers were in control the whole game, winning every quarter in scoring aside from the fourth. Utah made a run at the end cutting the 20-point deficit to just six with 3:15 remaining. From there Lamar Odom came up with two clutch finishes after LA kicked in its defense to officially decide the series. “We out did them,” said Lakers head coach Phil Jackson. “I thought it was a disappointment to them but they played hard; they played together and you have to give them credit. I thank them for giving us a run and a good, hard series.”
2009 NBA Playoff Tickets are available now!
Los Angeles Lakers 113, Utah Jazz 100.
Trevor Ariza scored a playoff career high 21 to get the Lakers going Sunday night in LA. Kobe Bryant and Paul Gasol added the bulk of their scoring with 24 and 20. LA was in control the whole game, putting up 62 points in the first half alone. Utah kept the pressure on, outscoring them in the second half but it was never enough. “They kept knocking on the door and we just never let them in,” said Bryant. The Lakers have the series lead 1-0 with another game to play at the Staples Center before heading to Utah.
Philadelphia 76ers 100, Orlando Magic 98
The #6 seeded sixers stunned the Magic in Orlando in game 1 with Andre Iguodala netting the game winner with 2.2 seconds left. Iguodala played a great overall game scoring 20 points with eight rebounds and eight assists. “We won one more game than people thought we would win,” Iguodala said. “I was pretty amped up.” Dwight Howard had 18 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in the first half, leading to his total of 31 points and 16 rebounds for the Magic. Despite his efforts, Orlando could not hang on to their 18 point lead in the fourth as the sixers rallied back to notch the upset.
Atlanta Hawks 90, Miami Heat 64
The Atlanta Hawks held the Heat to just 25 points in the second half as they cruised to an overwhelming double digit lead. Josh Smith scored 23 points including a few show time fast-break jams for Atlanta. Dwayne Wade led the Heat in scoring with 19, but it wasn’t enough to keep his squad in the game. The Hawks will keep their home court advantage for game 2 before traveling to Miami.
Denver Nuggets 113, New Orleans Hornets 84
Chauncey Billups led the Nuggets to blow by the Hornets Sunday night with 36 points, hitting eight of nine from three. Chris Paul controlled the New Orleans offense with 21 points and 11 assists despite their losing efforts. The Hornets will have to steal a game at Denver to have any sort of chance to advance past this series.
Game two will be played this Wednesday at 8:30 pm at the Pepsi Center.
San Antonio Spurs 105, Dallas Mavericks 84
Tony Parker led in scoring with 13 points, contributing 19 in the first quarter to help San Antonio get revenge over the Mavericks from game 1. Dallas couldn’t find an answer to Parker all last night, trying numerous different defensive strategies to slow him down. “You want to make sure I’m in attack mode every single play,” Parker said. “Even if it’s not to score, to penetrate for my teammates or make great cuts.” The Spurs tied the series 1-1 with the win as they head to Dallas for game 3.
2009 NBA Playoff Tickets are available now!
Cleveland vs. Detroit
Game 1 – Sat. April 18, Detroit at Cleveland, 3 p.m., ABC
Game 2 – Tue. April 21, Detroit at Cleveland, 8 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Fri. April 24, Cleveland at Detroit, 7 p.m., ESPN
Game 4 – Sun. April 26, Cleveland at Detroit, 3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN Radio
Game 5 * Wed. April 29, Detroit at Cleveland, Time TBD
Game 6 * Fri. May 1, Cleveland at Detroit, Time TBD
Game 7 * Sun. May 3, Detroit at Cleveland, Time TBD
Boston vs. Chicago
Game 1 – Sat. April 18, Chicago at Boston, 12:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 2 – Mon. April 20, Chicago at Boston, 7 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Thu. April 23, Boston at Chicago, 8 p.m., TNT
Game 4 – Sun. April 26, Boston at Chicago, 1 p.m., ABC
Game 5 * Tue. April 28, Chicago at Boston, Time TBD
Game 6 * Thu. April 30, Boston at Chicago, Time TBD
Game 7 * Sat. May 2, Chicago at Boston, Time TBD, TNT
Orlando vs. Philadelphia
Game 1 – Sun. April 19, Philadelphia at Orlando, 5:30 p.m., TNT
Game 2 – Wed. April 22, Philadelphia at Orlando, 7 p.m., NBA-TV
Game 3 – Fri. April 24, Orlando at Philadelphia, 8 p.m., ESPN2
Game 4 – Sun. April 26, Orlando at Philadelphia, 6:30 p.m., TNT
Game 5 * Tue. April 28, Philadelphia at Orlando, Time TBD
Game 6 * Thu. April 30, Orlando at Philadelphia, Time TBD
Game 7 * Sat. May 2, Philadelphia at Orlando, Time TBD, TNT
Atlanta vs. Miami
Game 1 – Sun. April 19, Miami at Atlanta, 8 p.m., TNT
Game 2 – Wed. April 22, Miami at Atlanta, 8 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Sat. April 25, Atlanta at Miami, 6:30 p.m., TNT
Game 4 – Mon. April 27, Atlanta at Miami, Time TBD
Game 5 * Wed. April 29, Miami at Atlanta, Time TBD
Game 6 * Fri. May 1, Atlanta at Miami, Time TBD
Game 7 * Sun. May 3, Miami at Atlanta, Time TBD
L.A. Lakers vs. Utah
Game 1 – Sun. April 19, Utah at L.A. Lakers, 3 p.m., ABC/ESPN Radio
Game 2 – Tue. April 21, Utah at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Thu. April 23, L.A. Lakers at Utah,10:30 p.m., TNT
Game 4 – Sat. April 25, L.A. Lakers at Utah, 9 p.m., ESPN/ESPN Radio
Game 5 * Mon. April 27, Utah at L.A. Lakers, Time TBD
Game 6 * Thu. April 30, L.A. Lakers at Utah, Time TBD
Game 7 * Sat. May 2, Utah at L.A. Lakers, Time TBD, TNT
Denver vs. New Orleans
Game 1 – Sun. April 19, New Orleans at Denver, 10:30 p.m., TNT
Game 2 – Wed. April 22, New Orleans at Denve, 10:30 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Sat. April 25, Denver at New Orleans, 1 p.m., ESPN
Game 4 – Mon. April 27, Denver at New Orleans, Time TBD
Game 5 * Wed. April 29, New Orleans at Denver, Time TBD
Game 6 * Fri. May 1, Denver at New Orleans, Time TBD
Game 7 * Sun. May 3, New Orleans at Denver, Time TBD
San Antonio vs. Dallas
Game 1 – Sat. April 18, Dallas at San Antonio, 8 p.m., ESPN/ESPN Radio
Game 2 – Mon. April 20, Dallas at San Antonio, 9:30 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Thu. April 23, San Antonio at Dallas, 8:30 p.m., NBA-TV
Game 4 – Sat. April 25, San Antonio at Dallas, 4 p.m., TNT
Game 5 * Tue. April 28, Dallas at San Antonio, Time TBD
Game 6 * Fri. May 1, San Antonio at Dallas, Time TBD
Game 7 * Sun. May 3, Dallas at San Antonio, Time TBD
Portland vs. Houston
Game 1 – Sat. April 18, Houston at Portland, 10:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 2 – Tue. April 21, Houston at Portland, 10 p.m., NBA-TV
Game 3 – Fri. April 24, Portland at Houston, 9:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 4 – Sun. April 26, Portland at Houston, 9 p.m., TNT
Game 5 * Tue. April 28, Houston at Portland, Time TBD
Game 6 * Thu. April 30, Portland at Houston, Time TBD
Game 7 * Sat. May 2, Houston at Portland, Time TBD, TNT
NBA Playoff tickets are now available for all games.
The Los Angeles Lakers will be the #1 rank in the Western conference going into the 2009 playoffs. They are currently 64-17 with just one game to go against the Utah Jazz. Utah sits at the #8 seed with a lot riding on their last regular season match up. If they can beat LA, they might be able to avoid playing them in the opening round.
The Dallas Mavericks are now one game ahead of the Jazz with a 49-32 record. Whoever LA will match up against they will keep their confidence, knowing they haven?t lost this season to either team. After coming so close to winning an NBA title last season, the Lakers have only improved. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol have been stellar all season, as Lamar Odom, Sasha Vujacic, and Trevor Ariza have given more than enough support.
The one team that might be able to stop the Lakers run early on will be the San Antonio Spurs in the second round. They hold the #5 seed in the West but have been on a roll the last couple of weeks. Between Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili, they know what it takes to win a championship. If the Lakers and Spurs meet in the second round, it should make for one of the most thrilling series all year.
Game 1 for the Lakers will take place at the Staples Center Saturday, April 18th. Los Angeles Lakers Playoff Tickets are now available!
20 straight wins would have been a great Christmas present from the Boston Celtics to their fans but alas they were bound to lose one sooner or later. Most in Boston would have preffered any team beat them other than the Los Angeles Lakers however. The Lakers won this mini battle yesterday at the Staples Center with an impressive defensive showing in their 92-83 win over Boston. The win improved the Lakers’ record to 24-5 while the Celtics move to 27-3. The game between last year’s Championship rivals had the feel of a Finals game despite the fact that this season isn’t half over. Both teams still have a long road ahead before they meet in any seriously important games.
Kobe Bryant was the scoring leader for the Lakers in this one with 27 points and 9 rebounds. Boston meanwhile got a great shooting game out of Kevin Garnett who added 22 points and 9 rebounds. Paul Pierce scored 20 with 10 rebounds but failed to score in the crucial 4th quarter. The win for the Lakers was Phil Jackson’s 1,000th career win as a head coach.
The Celtics and Lakers will meet again on 2/5/09 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. Celtics vs Lakers tickets are available for this game.
As the final seconds ticked down on the clock during Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals, cries of “SEVEN-TEEN, SEVEN-TEEN” rained down from the TD Banknorth Garden. The Boston Celtics had done it; they’d beaten the Los Angeles Lakers 131-92 to capture their first title in 22 years and in doing so secured themselves a spot in history with some of the all-time great Celtics teams that were able to hang championship banners from the old Boston Garden rafters.
There will be a new banner hanging in Boston very shortly, and it may be the most meaningful one of all.
In the most dramatic turnaround in NBA history, the same Celtics club that was only able to win 24 games last season persevered to rise to the elite status that many are never fortunate enough to experience. Boston fans had long awaited for their teams return to glory and after last nights 48 minutes of dominating play, there is no question that the Boston Celtics are once again the best team in the NBA.
Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen can now join the long list of Celtics greats to have been able to win a championship ring with the NBA’s most successful franchise.
“It means so much more because these are the guys, the Havliceks, the Bill Russells, the Cousys,” Pierce said. “These guys started what’s going on with those banners. They don’t hang up any other banners but championship ones… And now I’m a part of it.”
A big part of it. Pierce was named the Finals MVP, a well deserved honor awarded to the Celtics captain and leader. During the series he averaged 21.8 points, 6.3 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game. Something that you won’t see in any box score is the job he did defending the regular season MVP, Kobe Bryant. On the series, Bryant was held to a 40.5% shooting percentage from the field which was well below his playoff average of 48% from the floor.
It’s almost unfair to call Tuesday nights match up “Game 6″ because it wasn’t a game at all. The Celtics coasted to a 39 point victory, which set a new NBA record for largest margin of victory in a clinching title game. The previous record had been a 33 point margin in Boston’s 129-96 win in Game 5 of the 1965 NBA finals vs., you guessed it, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Every member on the team was able to contribute in the victory which made it that much sweeter. Boston’s bench picked up 39 points shooting 57% (12-21) and every member that checked into the game scored at least 2 points in the win.
The starters weren’t so bad themselves. Garnett led the way with a huge night scoring 26 points and grabbing 14 boards in 36 minutes of play. Allen also dropped 26 points, nailing 7 of 9 three point shots he attempted. Rajon Rondo stepped up in the clutch scoring 21 points, hauling down 7 rebounds, dishing out 8 assists while collecting 6 steals for a very well rounded line.
Over the course of the game, Boston just continued to build on their lead. After the first quarter they led by 4 points, 24-20. They outscored LA 34-15 in the second quarter to increase their halftime lead to a commanding 58-35 margin. A 31-25 scoring advantage in the third quarter put the C’s ahead 89-60 entering the fourth quarter and Boston continued to bring the heat, exploding for 42 points in the final 12 minutes of play to round out the scoring at 131-92.
Some Celtics legends were even on hand to witness the one sided victory including Bill Russell, John Havlicek, Jo-Jo White, Tommy Heinsohn and Bill Walton. GM Danny Ainge sat courtside to marvel at the team he helped create with a few brilliant off-season trades and signings.
And somewhere, Red Auerbach watched as well, most likely with a victory cigar in his mouth, lighting up to the NBA’s greatest franchise ever. The Celtics victory also prevented Lakers head coach Phil Jackson from surpassing Auerbach in the wins column for total championships as a head coach. The two are still knotted at nine a piece.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers was nothing but smiles late in the game and Pierce made sure to let him know just how much he cares by dumping a cooler of red Gatorade over his head with very little time remaining on the clock, to symbolize that the game was over and they had done it, together. Early on in the season Rivers had called a team meeting and used an African word, ubuntu, which translates to “I am, because we are” in English, as the Celtics’ unifying team motto.
Last night was UBUNTU at its finest.
There will be no more question marks surrounding the careers of Pierce, Garnett and Allen. They three proved they have what it takes to win it all, and now they have rings to prove it. During the post-game celebration, Garnett hugged Russell in the center of the court, an exchange that will become just another part of the organizations rich history.
“I got my own. I got my own,” Garnett said. “I hope we made you proud.”
“You sure did,” Russell said.
Congratulations Boston Celtics, you are the champions of the NBA, and your city could not be more proud of you. With last nights victory, Boston’s 22 year quest for Green 17 is now complete and so begins a new journey… the road to repeat… Green 18!
The Boston Celtics are home for good and hope that tonight’s Game 6 match up against the Los Angeles Lakers will be their last of the season. A win would mean the return to glory in capturing the franchises 17th NBA title, a quest they have been on for 22 years. While Boston sits one win away from making history, the Lakers hope to extend the series to a Game 7 which would be Thursday night in Boston and will also try to make history in becoming the first team to overcome a 3-1 series deficit to win a title.
The story of the Finals so far has been the leadership of Celtics veteran guard Paul Pierce. Pierce is averaging 22.8 points a game in the finals as well as 5.6 assists. Those numbers have lifted the play of some of his teammates including Rajon Rondo who had a 16 assist effort in the Celtics Game 2 victory. Leon Powe also had a break out Game 2 performance netting 21 points in only 15 minutes of action.
Besides elevating his teammates play, Pierce has done an excellent job of shutting down the NBA’s best player and MVP in Kobe Bryant. In the 15 playoff games leading up to the Finals, Bryant averaged 31.9 points a game. In the Finals, Pierce is holding Bryant to 26.4 points a night and about 7 of those points are coming from the free throw line each game. On the series, Bryant is shooting 42% from the field, which is considerably down from his first three playoff series against the West in which he shot 169 of 332 from the floor, good for 51%. Pierce’s presence can certainly be felt.
“We’re one up, with two games to go at home,” said Pierce, who dropped 38 points in Game 5. “It still feels like we have the advantage, and I do feel like we’re the better team.”
Boston hopes to see Ray Allen stay hot from behind the arc. The sharpshooter has connected on 15 of 33 shots from 3-point land in the Finals, a 45% clip.
The Celtics were without starting center Kendrick Perkins in the Game 5 loss in LA due to a shoulder injury he suffered earlier in the series. His presence was missed as the Lakers were able to capitalize multiple times on second chance points in the paints. He will be a game time decision tonight but his team is hoping he’s ready to go.
“Perk is a physical guy,” said teammate Kevin Garnett. “He plays the post better than anybody in this league. That’s what he does. When you lose a key guy, you’re losing something.”
Garnett himself is still looking for a breakout game in the Finals and what a better time to have the performance than in a potential championship clincher. Versus L.A., KG is averaging only 16.6 points a night compared to the 21.1 he had been averaging in the three playoff series against the Eastern Conference teams (ATL, CLE, DET). He called his Game 5 performance “disgusting” and vowed that Game 6 would be a different story as he and the rest of the Celtics are excited to return home.
“It’s going to be like coming into the Amazon, into the jungle,” he said. “I look forward to coming home and playing.”
The entire city of Boston is fired up for tonight’s Game 6 match up. For the first time in over 20 years a local team has the chance to capture a league title in their hometown. The 04′ and 07′ Red Sox won the World Series on the road, and with the rotating Super Bowl locations the Patriots weren’t even close to New England for their three titles in 01′, 03′ and 04′.
Tonight has the potential to be something amazing. Hopefully, Boston is the city where amazing happens and the Celtics long quest for Green 17 becomes a reality. With a win tonight the Celtics will get their 17th banner in game 6 on 6/17.
The Boston Celtics rollercoaster ride of a postseason continued Thursday night as they overcame a 24 points first half deficit to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 97-91 in Game 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals. In one of the gutsiest team performances in Finals history, the Celtics were able to prevail over a hostile Staples Center crowd, the hometown officiating and a disgusting first half shooting display to pull out only their third road win of the 2008 playoffs.
In a game that for all intensive purposes should have been over at halftime, Boston was somehow able to find a way to dig down deep and come together for what could go down as the best come from behind Finals win ever.
“Some turnaround in that game. The air went out of the building,” said Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who was asked what he told his club afterward. “Well, it’s not over. This is not over. The series is not over.”
On paper, he’s right, the series is not over. Game 5 is scheduled for Sunday night at 9:00pm EST. However, no team has ever been able to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals.
All throughout the first half, the Lakers possessed a sense of urgency and attacked the hoop possession after possession. Lamar Odom, who had been a non-factor in the first three games of the Finals, provided an early spark hitting his first 7 shots and at one point was out scoring and rebounding the entire Celtics team.
At the end of the 1st quarter, the Lakers led 35-14.
The Celtics were able to make up a little ground in the 2nd quarter but a Jordan Farmar 3-point heave at the halftime buzzer killed any momentum the Celtics had established and they trailed 58-40 at the break.
Boston fans watching the game were disheartened. They knew that the C’s had lost a golden opportunity to steal a win in Game 3, and were now in the locker room trailing Game 4 by 18 points, on the road to Kobe Bryant and Co. Things just weren’t looking good.
And then something happened.
Maybe the water boys added a little something extra to their bottles for the 2nd half, but the Celtics team that came out of that locker room looked nothing like the rag-a-muffin bunch that had moped around the court for the first 24 minutes of play. This team looked inspired, as if it suddenly hit them that they have a once in a life time opportunity to do something special. They looked hungry with the need to feed, their only prey wearing yellow and purple.
Paul Pierce led the attack scoring 20 points, 14 coming in the 2nd half. He was fearless out of the court, demanding the ball in the right situations and creating for his teammates when his shot was not there. His play lifted the Celtics up and together they were able to cut the Lakers 18 point halftime lead to a 73-71 score by the end of the 3rd quarter.
The Elias Sports Bureau reports that the comeback was the largest in the Finals since 1971, and that before last night, no team had ever come back to win a game after trailing by more the 15 points in the first quarter.
Boston tied the score at 73-73 on a Leon Powe jump shot with 10:13 remaining on the game clock. It was the first tie since the game was knotted at 2-2, 28 seconds into the game. Each possession became more important than the previous and both teams tried to pick up their defensive intensity. For the first time in the finals, the officials finally took a step back swallowing their whistles, allowing both teams to play without ticky-tack foul calls.
Three times the Celtics would tie the game only to see the Lakers score the next possession to regain the lead. It wasn’t until Eddie House nailed a long jumper on the wing that the Celtics took their first lead of the game, 83-82 with 4:07 remaining in the action.
Boston would not trail again.
“It’s definitely a great win, one that you’re going to put up there in the library and break back out one day for your kids to watch,” Pierce said. “But I want nothing more than that ring right now.”
With the Game 4 victory, Pierce and the rest of the Celtics find themselves one win away from their first NBA Championship since 1986.
But honestly, did that win really happen? Did the Lakers manage to blow a 24 point lead, on their home court where they had yet to lose a home playoff game and been winners of 15 straight? Where was Kobe during “Kobe Time” late in the game? And did Brian Scalabrine’s hair get redder during the Celtics huge 3rd quarter run?
Seriously though, the comeback was amazing, but the collapse is the real story here. After a huge Game 3 win, the Lakers had a chance to even the series and really take the advantage because they would be able to host Game 5 with a chance to take the lead and put the pressure back on Boston.
One problem, they forgot to play basketball in the second half of Thursday’s game.
You can’t even say that LA choked because they simply stopped breathing. Had they gone to the emergency room, they would have been declared dead upon arrival. This team that had so much energy and life in the first half took their large lead for granted and it came back to ultimately kill them.
If this sounds all too familiar that’s because the same thing happened to the Celtics in Game 2. Big lead, sloppy play and lack of effort equaled a 41 point Lakers 4th quarter and a few near heart attacks by Bostonians watching the whole debacle.
The only difference between the two comebacks was that the Lakers made their run in the 4th quarter and merely ran out of time on the clock where as the Celtics pulled close in the 3rd, swinging the momentum their way to take over the game in the 4th.
Even Kobe couldn’t save this one for his team.
“They were determined not to let me beat them tonight,” said Kobe Bryant in a post-game interview. “I saw three, four bodies every time I touched the ball.”
Bryant still managed to score 17 points and dish out 10 assists in the loss, but was never really able to kick his game up a notch during crunch time, which is usually one of his many specialties.
The stage for Sunday’s Game 5 is set. For the Lakers it’s simply win or go home. The Celtics, on the other hand, will try to win the organizations 17th overall championship on the road. If they can’t pull out the victory in LA, they now have the luxury of returning home with not one but two chances (if they need them) to raise another banner in Beantown.