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Monday, June 14, 2010
Celts withstand Kobe's 38 points, one win away from Banner 18
Throughout the 2008 NBA Finals and now the 2010 Finals, everyone has always waited with baited breath saying "well Kobe is going to go off in one of these games."
Last time I checked 38 points is a huge game but still the Celtics were able to pull off their second straight must-win, this time in Game 5 last night at the Garden, 92-86.
Boston takes a 3-2 lead back to the West Coast where they can close out the Lakers either tomorrow night in Game 6 or (fingers crossed) Thursday in Game 7.
It was a classic Kobe game-from one of the years the Lakers didn't win a title. He made ridiculous shots and was 13-of-27 from the floor but he had as many assists (4) as turnovers with five rebounds.
The only other Laker to score in double figures was Pau Gasol (12 points, 12 rebounds) but he's not nearly the threat he was early in the series with Andrew Bynum (6 points, 1 rebound) working on one leg.
After two stinkers in a row, Paul Pierce (the MVP of the 2008 Finals) was on with 27 points. The difference for the C's was it wasn't all about him. Kevin Garnett (18 points, 10 rebounds, 5 steals) and Rajon Rondo (18 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds) were great. Ray Allen added 12 points.
This series is not over by any means, especially since the Lakers will host the next two games (if necessary) and you know the NBA wants this going seven.
Boston led 22-20 after the first quarter and 45-39 at the half. Even with Kobe dropping 19 in the third quarter, the C's outscored LA 28-26. The Lakers won the fourth 21-19 but it wasn't enough.
It's probably my bias but it seemed like the Celts made all the winning, hustle plays. None better than the inbounds from KG to Pierce who found Rondo for a ridiculous layup.
For the game Boston shot 56.3% to LA's 39.7%. Los Angeles made four 3-pointers and eight more free throws (17-9). Just like in Game 4, the Celtics had way more assists (21-12), 11 more fastbreak points (14-3) and 14 more points in the paint (46-32).