Give the Boston Celtics credit. After being run off the court in the first quarter, the C’s dominated the next 24 minutes of the game.
Too bad for the folks in Beantown that an NBA contest consists of 48 minutes.
The Los Angeles Lakers bookended their 90-89 victory over Boston by outscoring Doc’s Army 54-35 in the first and fourth quarters combined.
Ron Artest set the tone early by not giving Paul Pierce an inch from the opening jump. Kobe Bryant sent a sea of green home angry by hitting the game winner late. If you’re keeping score at home, then you know it has been nearly two years since the Celtics have “Beat L.A.” going all the way back to that embarrassing loss in the 2008 NBA Finals. Since then, this rivalry has been like most of the streets in Downtown Los Angeles – one way.
Mamba’s tightly contested game winner with 7.3 ticks left will be the highlight, the continued disintegration of the Celtics might be the headline, but Phil Jackson equalizing Pat Riley as the winningest coach in Laker history is the real story.
PJ has won 533 games as the head shot caller in Los Angeles City. Soon, he’ll stand alone with more wins than any other coach in franchise history. Typical of Jackson, he willed the Lakers to victory on his terms. Jackson gave All-Star forward Pau Gasol a view from the bench for almost all of the crucial fourth, opting instead to let Andrew Bynum (19 points, 11 boards, 2 blocks) and Lamar Odom take the Lakers to a 5-2 mark on this eight game, Grammy induced, road trip.
While Kobe struggled all afternoon to find his rhythm (8-20 from the field), he hit a high note at the right time by draining an improbable jumper right in Ray Allen’s smug grill. KB24 dropped 19 on the afternoon and pulled even closer to The Logo as the all-time leading scorer in franchise history.