Boston 103, LA Lakers 94. Boston owned the fourth quarter, sealing the upset with a 16-4 run to close the game. It is the Lakers’ first postseason home loss. Surprised?
1) Yes, the referees had a tough night. They called it too tight (58 fouls, but the Lakers took 15 more free throws). That wasn’t a good early sign for Boston. They won anyway because Ray Allen carried them in the first half (27 points) and Rajon Rondo was incredibly clutch late (10 points in the final six minutes; 19 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists overall) and all-around awesome.
2) Paul Pierce hasn’t solved Ron Artest (2-for-5 shooting) and Pau Gasol might be in KG’s head (2-for-11). The fact that Boston won on the road with those two contributing nothing is rather astounding. (Speaking of Artest, we like the phrase, “Ron Artest roulette.”)
3) The NBA has instant replay in the final two minutes. Brilliant! So how did they get that out-of-bounds call wrong with LA down 3? It probably won’t be talked about too much today, but the ball clearly was hit last by Garnett. Gasol’s hand was there but his hand was behind KG’s. On the ensuing play, Rondo hit an elbow jumper. The Celtics went up five. Ballgame.
4) Lamar Odom looks lost. Dumb fouls, no offense. He’s 3-for-9 in the first two games and has been a massive non-factor. In Boston, you can count on a) Bynum getting in foul trouble, b) Gasol going soft, c) the Lakers struggling to find offensive help for Kobe. It might have to be Odom.
5) Agree mostly with Plaschke here. In this age of stats, last night simply boiled down to Boston wanting it more. The loose balls were seemingly all theirs. They boxed out harder, keeping Gasol from scoring easy put-backs. As cliche as it sounds, you could sense the urgency in Ray Allen shaking whoever was guarding him, and Rondo soaring for rebounds that in game one, the Lakers always seemed to collect.
6) Paul Pierce doesn’t seem to think the series is going back to LA.
7) We’re coming around on Mike Breen as an announcer. Jeff Van Gundy is somewhat funny. We just hope Mark Jackson takes the Atlanta Hawks‘ job. We’d love to have Marv in the booth for the Finals. In addition, the TNT crew of Barkley-Jet-C Webb is vastly superior to ESPN’s Magic-Wilbon-Barry trio.