The Lakers took Game 3 of the NBA Finals - retaking home court advantage with a 91-84 road victory in Boston. They now lead the series 2-1.

After receiving a plethora of criticism in the first two games - Kevin Garnett finally turned in a solid performance. He finished with 25 points on 11/16 shooting. For the Lakers, Lamar Odom answered similar criticism - passing his combined point total from the last two games with 12.

Despite the explosive effort from KG, the Celtics struggled to keep up with the Lakers. Their problems being tied directly to Ray Allen's. Ironically, after posting the greatest shooting night in Finals history in Game 2, Ray was held to a disastrous 0/13 shooting tonight - nearly reaching the worst shooting performance in finals history. While he made 8 three-pointers on Sunday, he missed 8 tonight. Most heart-wrenching was a crucial miss from behind the arc with the C's trailing by 4 and under a minute left.

Like in Game 1, LA was able to again out-rebound the Celtics, 43-35. Including an 11-8 advantage in offensive boards. The two teams shot the same amount of free throws this time around - each attempting 24. However, LA was able to take better advantage of their trips to the line - shooting 88% compared to Boston's 67.

Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher led the Lakers offense to the W. Despite a poor shooting percentage (making only 10/29 shots) Kobe totaled 27 points. Derek Fisher, however, deserves the most credit for the Lakers' win. He led the team to fend off a late game run by the Celtics - ending the game with 16 points.

In the third quarter, LA held onto the double digit lead they built in the first half. Yet, Boston continued to chip away - cutting the deficit down to as little as 4. After trailing by almost 20 points at one point, they managed to end the third quarter only down by 6. Their late quarter burst of energy continued opening the fourth. Behind Big Baby, the Celtics pulled within 1. However, the Lakers withstood the run and opened up their lead to as large as 6 behind Derek Fisher's 11 fourth quarter points. Boston continually pulled within a possession but could not get a crucial stop or score.

The Celtics started the game on fire behind Garnett's 3 field goals in the first minute. After Boston built an early 7 point lead, Phil Jackson called a timeout to regroup. The timeout turned out to to change the look of the first half and the game. The Lakers came out of the break a different team. They preceded to roll over the Celtics - finishing the 1st quarter on a 21-5 run to take a 9 point lead. LA started the second with the same spark and built a lead as high as 17 - ending the half up by twelve behind Kobe's 16 points.

Opening their home stand with a loss makes the Celtics' job much harder. To give themselves the greatest chance they must hope to win the next two straight against the Lakers. Heading back to LA down 3-2 and hoping for a championship would be a near impossible task. Game 4 will take place Thursday June 10th at 9pm.

Michael Saver 6/08/2010 11:59:00 PM Edit
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7 Responses so far.

  1. tb727 says:

    Awful, awful game. That offensive foul on Ray late with Fisher flopping killed the Celts momentum. They could've taken the lead on that possession. The 5th foul on Paul defending Artest was bad. And they got 2 of the final 3 calls wrong- that ball didn't go off KG's hand and if you're gonna give the Celtics the ball on the final play how can't you call a foul on Rondo?

    Overall a poorly officiated game but the Celtics seemed to get many worse calls- especially early in the game.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great game by Derek Fisher attacking the Celtic defense in the 4th quarter. Andrew Bynum also was an intimidating presence for the offense and defense when he was in the game. Lakers almost let the Celtics back into the game by launching so many difficult shots from the outside. The Celtics really have no man-to-man defense for Gasol and Bynum inside. The Laker coaches need to tell the Lakers (e.g., Kobe, Brown, and Farmar) to keep attacking the Celtic bigs inside the paint. Force the Celtics to double team inside and then pass the ball for open uncontested shots.

  3. Karl says:

    Ray Allen went 0-13 from the field. That's why they lost.

  4. Three Toe says:

    Normal coach complains about the refs: $30,000 fine. Fill Jackson complains about the refs: 1-game worth of LA-centric calls.

    On top of Ray's poor shooting was Pierce's poor shooting and on top of that was our poor free throw line shooting. Not all of that slack can be picked up by KG and the bench, dudes.

    Also, another thing that is driving me crazy is when we have the final shot of the quarter. More often than not, Rondo holds the ball, doesn't even move, runs the clock down to 3 seconds and takes a very-contested, long-range jump shot. If that's the game plan, GIVE IT TO A BETTER SHOOTER, though I'd rather see them try ANYTHING ELSE first.

  5. Tough loss to watch, Mike. They played like the Nuggie Nunch out there. Two years ago playing from behind was our game. Now we just can't overcome deficits.

  6. Shai says:

    Three Toe - you took the words out of my mouth about Rondo's usual end-of-quarter B.S.
    I was watching the game with my daughter last night and at 12 seconds or so I looked at her and said "you'll see, he's gonna blow it like he always does. WTF". Sure enough...a wasted 2 or 3 points. He is a great, great player, but he still has some room to grow up.

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