Ford Keys to the Game

Lakers 90, Celtics 89

Game Highlights

Photo of the Game

Phil Jackson, Pau Gasol

Phil Jackson and Pau Gasol plead with a referee to no avail after a call they disagreed with during Sunday afternoon's game in the TD Garden.
Jim Rogash/NBAE/Getty

Key Moment

"Kobe (Bryant)'s shot was as difficult of a shot you can make."

You can't describe it much better than that.

With Boston leading by one point and 27.5 seconds remaining in the game, the Los Angeles lakers went exactly where everyone knew they were going -- Kobe Bryant.

Despite being only 7-of-19 from the field at that point in the game, Phil Jackson called Bryant's number just as he always does, and no. 24 delivered.

With Ray Allen draped all over him like a double-layered Snuggie blanked, Bryant took his final dribble at the free throw line and threw a series of pump fakes. Allen didn't fall for a single one of them and played some of the best on-ball defense Bryant has ever had to deal with in a game-winning situation. But it simple wasn't enough to prevent Bryant from getting a shot off and seal the win for Boston. Instead, Bryant squared his shoulders, rose up and fired up a shot with Allen's hand placed directly in his face. The ball sank through the net with 7.3 seconds remaining and silenced the Celtics crowd, putting the Lakers ahead 90-89.

Boston called a timeout and drew up a pick-and-roll play with Paul Pierce and Allen and it worked exactly as planned -- one of the two would get a wide open look. That look wound up going to Allen from directly in front of the Lakers bench, but his game-winning shot attempt was awry and the final buzzer sounded.

Bryant was anything but invincible this afternoon, but when it mattered most he delivered. That's a situation the rest of this league has become all too familiar with throughout his career.

Key Box Score Line

With Tony Allen by his side in the second quarter, Rajon Rondo led a furious Celtics comeback that turned an 11-point deficit after the first quarter into a 10-point lead with 1:34 left in the second. He had nine points, three rebounds and eight assists in the second period alone, which helped contribute to one of his most impressive overall outings of the season.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Rajon Rondo was the only Celtic to score more than 15 points.
  • Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum tied for the team-high in scoring with 19 points apiece.
  • Boston shot 30.0 percent from downtown while Los Angeles shot 28.6 percent on their threes.
  • Tony Allen scored 14 points off the bench for Boston.
  • Rajon Rondo led the game in both points and assists.
  • Kobe Bryant recorded a team-high six assists. No other Laker had more than three..
  • Boston outrebounded Los Angeles, the second-ranked rebounding team in the league, 39-36.
  • Boston had 20 assists but also turned the ball over 18 times.
  • Lamar Odom recorded three blocks off the bench for the Lakers.
  • There were only four lead changes and three ties in the game.
  • Each team led by at least 11 points at some point in the game.
  • The Lakers scored 50 points in the paint.
  • Andrew Bynum had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers.

Quote of the Night

Kobe Bryant on what he said to Phil Jackson before the Lakers' final possession: "I didn't say give me one more chance, I said give me the damn ball. I never really give him much of a choice."