Luke Treat

Lakers Win Despite Vintage Garnett

In NBA on June 9, 2010 at 2:52 am

TD Garden

BOSTON – Fourth quarter, Celtics down by two with two minutes left. It wasn’t Kobe, Pau, or Khloé Kardashian’s husband. NBA Finals veteran Derek Fisher broke free, galloping down court and, amidst three Celtic defenders, banked in the floater. Fisher, willing his team to a victory, was fouled and made the free throw to complete the three-point-play. The Lakers rode Fisher’s late game offensive surge to victory over the Celtics, 91-84.

More after the jump

The Celtics thunder and lightning offense ignited the Eastern Conference Champions in the first half with Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo scoring the clubs first 16 points. However, Kobe Bryant’s 29 points and Fisher’s fourth quarter scoring spree proved to be a mountain too high to climb; despite an appearance of vintage Kevin Garnett.

Garnett, who has been as productive as BP’s recent public relation commercials, shed his dormant-self en route to a 25 point, six rebound performance that, early on, gave Celtics fans jaded hope. Pau Gasol and Garnett went at it most of the game as if neighborhood rivals on the playground, shot for shot. Gasol’s 13 point, 10 rebound performance wasn’t as inspired as Garnett’s but it was enough to contribute a Laker win.

Paul Pierce made headlines this week with his emotional outburst in game two saying the Celtics would not be heading back to L.A.; nevertheless, his 15 point outing along with vintage Garnett needed help. Ray Allen’s sweet 3-point stroke certainly would have been the help the Celtics were thirsting for, but the Laker defense held Allen to just two points, going 0-21 from the field. Only Allen’s two free throws would be the only points next to his name at the end of the contest.

Pierce struggled with his shot most of the night and foul trouble prevented him from becoming much of a factor late in the game. Kobe also struggled late, stubbornly putting up shots that couldn’t find a home, shooting 30.5% from the field.

Rondo was limited to 11 points; a testament to L.A.’s strong guard play on defense. Rondo, who received more rest than in game two, brought the Celtics to within one point with a driving lay-up in the second half. But with only three lead changes in the game, the Celtics couldn’t turn the tide of Laker momentum.

The score was close, the fourth quarter was shaping up to be a classic slugfest between the biggest rivalry in the NBA, and thank goodness – the third quarter was a showcase of sloppy, sloppy basketball. Despite the messiness of the third, the Celtics would outscore the Lakers 21-15.

This isn’t the first time Fisher has answered fate’s knock, does the .04 second shot in San Antonio conjure any memories? Maybe last year’s Final’s game four 3-pointer against Orlando in overtime will do the trick. Fisher’s timely explosion can only be described as cutthroat. If Kobe is the Black Mamba, than Fisher is the quiet assassin. Think of Jason Bourne but in the body of Marvin Gaye.

The officiating has been heavily scrutinized this series, (as if in any other series it hasn’t), and tonight was no different. Several questionable calls against Boston included an offensive foul on Ray Allen and possession calls regarding Ron Artest/Glen Davis and Davis/Jordan Farmar. No matter, the Celtics had the opportunities and it came down to the Lakers shutting up Allen and Fisher leading the fourth quarter charge at TD Garden.

Since the NBA went to the current 2-3-2 playoff format, the team that has won game three with the series tied at one game a piece, has prevailed to win the series in all 10 instances. After all, Pierce said he isn’t going back to L.A., and now, he surely aspires to return to the city he once dismissed.

  1. Wow. You’re an amazing writer.

  2. You are writing like a sports writer. I guess that’s the whole point, eh. Been working on a signature phrase?

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