Lakers Gameday | 06/06/10 | Celtics

GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Boston Celtics 29 25 18 31 103
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 22 26 24 22 94


Lakers-Celtics Highlights


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Allen, Rondo lead Celtics past Lakers, even finals


LOS ANGELES(AP) The Boston Celtics evened the NBA finals with Ray Allen shredding the Lakers from the 3-point line - and Rajon Rondo doing everything else from everywhere else.

Allen scored 27 of his 32 points in the first half with a record-setting 3-point shooting display, Rondo completed a triple-double down the stretch and the Celtics handed the Los Angeles Lakers their first home loss of the postseason, 103-94 Sunday night in Game 2.

Allen hit a finals-record eight 3-pointers in a dazzling effort for the Celtics, including seven before halftime. Rondo then took charge after Allen cooled down, racking up 19 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in his fifth playoff triple-double.

``An entire team effort,'' Rondo said. ``Ray carried us through the first half. Second half, we got in a little slump but we stuck with it, stayed together and got a victory.''

Game 3 is Tuesday night in Boston.

Kobe Bryant scored 21 points while battling more foul trouble for the Lakers, who couldn't catch up to Boston's dynamic guards in Los Angeles' first home playoff loss since last season's Western Conference finals. Pau Gasol had 25 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers, and Andrew Bynum added 21 points and six rebounds.

The teams traded the lead throughout the period, but Rondo's heady layup put the Celtics ahead for good with 3:21 to play. The play was vintage Rondo, scooting in to collect a shot blocked by Gasol and scoring before Gasol could react.

Kevin Garnett then hit a jumper, and after another possession of stifling defense, Rondo hit another jumper, celebrating with a swing of his arm in the mostly silent Staples Center.

Rondo has grown into possibly the Celtics' biggest offensive threat in these playoffs, but his 10-point fourth quarter looms among his largest achievements.

After the Lakers' whistle-plagued 102-89 victory in the opener, both teams again struggled under the weight of foul trouble. Garnett and Bryant both spent extra time on the bench, with Bryant picking up his fifth foul early in the fourth.

Garnett had just six points, and Paul Pierce never got going, scoring 10 on 2-of-11 shooting. The Celtics also struggled against the Lakers' low-post game.

With Allen and Rondo playing spectacular basketball, none of their flaws mattered much.

Allen had just 12 points on 3-for-8 shooting in the opener, never finding his rhythm after early foul trouble. He didn't even hit a 3-pointer - but the sharpshooting veteran was just saving it up.

With his fundamentally flawless jumper snapping off his wrists in perfect form, Allen tied the finals record for a full game with seven 3-pointers in the first half. That textbook shot didn't even miss until his eighth try rimmed out in the waning moments of the half.

With his eighth 3-pointer midway through the third quarter, Allen broke the record for a full finals game he shared with Kenny Smith and Scottie Pippen - and though he didn't hit another under tight defense, Rondo took charge.

Allen's scoring staked the Celtics to a six-point halftime lead, but the Lakers stayed in it with an inside game generating 41 free throws - 15 more than Boston - and strong efforts from Gasol and Bynum.

The Celtics essentially were a two-man show all night. Rondo sliced up the Los Angeles defense with slick drives after playing a tentative opener, while Allen was relentless from the perimeter, hitting his fourth, fifth and sixth 3-pointers in a two-minute span midway through the second quarter.

Bryant's vaunted defense didn't help much after switching onto Allen, and Kobe didn't even get his second field goal of the game until Allen already had 22 points. Bryant spent most of the first half's final minutes on the bench after picking up his third foul on a charging call drawn by Allen, who hit his seventh 3 late in the half.

Yet Bryant returned with a steal and a dramatic 3-pointer with two-tenths of a second left before halftime, trimming Boston's lead to a very manageable 54-48.

All four of Boston's top low-post players had four fouls apiece midway through the third quarter, largely thanks to a strong game underneath by Bynum, whose injured right knee didn't slow him on a series of slams. Allen set the finals record with his eighth 3-pointer with 4:42 left in the third.

Although the teams had an extra day off after the opener, neither coach predicted many strategic adjustments. Both focused the weekend's work on mental preparation - the Celtics working on increased intensity after getting run off the court in Game 1, and the Lakers on consistency.

Only Boston's Doc Rivers got what he wanted, and he only got it from two players - yet it was enough.

NOTES: Allen was one shy of the record for 3-pointers in one half of any playoff game. ... Before the game, the NBA unveiled the logo for next February's All-Star weekend at Staples Center. ... Toronto big man Chris Bosh heard from plenty of Lakers fans who would like to see him in purple and gold next fall when he walked around Staples Center's lower bowl.

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2 Second half turnovers for Boston, which very effectively ran its offense in the fourth quarter in particular to outscore L.A. 31-22.

8 NBA Finals record made three-pointers from Ray Allen, who drained his first seven in the first half and hit another in the third quarter en route to 32 points.

14 NBA Finals single-game record in blocks for the Lakers, thanks mostly to seven swats from Andrew Bynum and six from Pau Gasol.

14:38 Minutes played by Lamar Odom, who for the second straight game was whistled for three fouls early in the contest. He finished with only three points and five boards.

21 Playoff-career-high tying points from Bynum, in addition to his seven blocks and six boards, in a terrific individual effort.

Mike Trudell,

Lakers-Celtics Quotes

Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson

Q. The execution down the stretch, offensively seemed ‑‑ the team seemed to just hit a wall. Can you talk about that?
PHIL JACKSON: Yes, we had some turnovers. One of them started out kind of from an offensive foul, Drew got a call for an offensive foul. I still don't know about that one. That was dubious. But he set a pick that bounced off it. Ron tried to force the ball into Pau Gasol and threw the ball away, and then we had another sequence of ‑‑ I don't remember exactly what the turnover was, but that kind of set them off and set the game off and turned it around in that sequence.
We had a little lead right at the end, and we didn't do our job; they did.

Q. Is that just execution or focus or they just outplayed you?
PHIL JACKSON: Well, I think their execution was better. They had second‑chance opportunities in that sequence, and that was really the difference in the ballgame.

Q. Obviously you don't get that high with one win. I would assume you're going to keep things even keel. What does it mean to potentially lose the home‑court? And talk about Kobe trying in foul trouble. How did that hinder his game?
PHIL JACKSON: Yeah, I wasn't happy with those foul calls. Those were unusual calls. But he tried to play aggressively. Got called for it. Tried to limit his game a little bit because they were coming at ‑‑ taking charges, and it really changed the complexity of this ballgame. They did a good job on him defensively, no doubt about that. I have to tip my hat off to them about that. Those were things that we struggled with in the course of the game obviously.
Our big guys played great, Bynum and Pau. We didn't get the ball often enough to them or in good enough position many times, and a lot of our shooting outside was not that well.

Q. Losing the home‑court?
PHIL JACKSON: Well, in a sequence like this there's no doubt it's a blow to us to lose the home‑court, but we anticipated this might happen, and we're just going to have to go pick it up.

Q. What's going on with Lamar? He's had two very ineffective games.
PHIL JACKSON: Again, my fault. He got, bang‑bang, two fouls immediately, and I turned to my crew and said, do you think he can play through this? And as I was talking to them, he got his third foul. So obviously he couldn't play through that sequence. He just basically got in the ballgame and got those three fouls and it really took him out of the ballgame. That's a bit unfortunate for him. He'll get a chance later on in this series to redeem himself.

Q. What about Ron, too? He was 1 for 10, had a couple crazy shots.
PHIL JACKSON: Ron played one of those flip‑flop games tonight, a little bit different. Defensively Paul Pierce is 2 for 11, Ron Artest 1 for 10. I don't know, it wasn't the best battle out there, but obviously Paul's team won, and that's the difference.

Q. Does Ron get a little lost out there offensively? Is it the stage? Is it the pressure? There was one play towards the end where he ran around for about ten seconds and threw up a three.
PHIL JACKSON: It's one of the more unusual sequences I've ever witnessed.
You know, he's just trying to redeem himself. He's trying to get himself involved in the game and trying to redeem himself for I think he made a bad pass earlier in the sequence.

Q. Is that just him trying to redeem himself? But this is a pretty big stage to be doing that at that particular moment.
PHIL JACKSON: Sure, very good observation.

Q. Have you had a conversation with him about whether he needs to go that route?
PHIL JACKSON: Yeah, sure, I'll have a conversation with him.

Q. What kind of adjustment do you make on Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo?
PHIL JACKSON: Well, you know, when they take away any bumps, when Fish is trying to make him divert his path and they don't allow him to do that, they call fouls on Fish and that really gives him an opportunity to take whatever route he wants to make off the pickers. That really makes it very difficult. We just have to adjust to the ballgame to what the referees are going to call. Are they going to allow us to take direct line cuts away from him so he has to divert his route, and call on Fish and get a foul called on Fisher? That makes for a totally different type of ballgame. Then Fish has to give the routes that he wants to run in and then he's got to play from behind all the time. That's an adjustment we all need to make in the course of this series.
He had a great game.

Q. Can you just discuss the overall impact of Rondo on this game.
PHIL JACKSON: You know, Rondo's offensive rebounds, some little things he did out there. Really a difference maker in the second half. The first half was obviously Ray's shooting that got them going, got them in the lead. Second half Rondo had some key plays there that changed the course of the game.

Q. It sounds like you want to spend some money. Did you have trouble with the refereeing tonight?
PHIL JACKSON: It's going to be that way from game to game, and I think a lot of it is about who comes out aggressively and does the right thing out there at the very start of the ballgame.

Q. You talked about Lamar's game, but what does it do to the rest of the roster, the rest of the rotation when you get so little from him in the course of a game?
PHIL JACKSON: Well, you know, it just changes up where we place people on the floor. Obviously it takes Pau from the wing and puts him into the post. Takes Kobe from guard and puts him into the wing. It just changes how we play the game a lot and gives opportunities that are a little different, a myriad of activities that we run in our offensive sets. It gives us a little more of a variety, and that's something that's tough for teams to adjust to.

Q. Andrew had a big night tonight. Are you hoping or expecting Andrew to have the same type of impact in Boston?
PHIL JACKSON: Well, he had two days between games. I thought he recovered really well off of some swelling that he had on that knee, and we were able to ‑‑ trainers were able to get that down and back in order and he was able to play, I think, great ‑‑ as good a physical shape as he could possibly be in at this time of the year, and we were pleased with that. I was just pleased that he could play 35 minutes plus. That was a big part of that effort that he gave us tonight.

Q. Can you just talk about the defense, how the type of defense Boston was trying to apply on Kobe tonight.
PHIL JACKSON: Well, they got on him and made him go left all the time. They were not letting him come back to his right hand, shoving him to the left and then going to help when he started to push the ball. That changed things up for him. He still figured it out pretty well towards the end but couldn't complete it.

Q. How big was that time‑out call that Doc made? And have you ever seen a coach fly out to the free‑throw line?
PHIL JACKSON: I don't know if you can do that or not. I don't think that's legal to get on the floor. I think coaches have to stay on the sideline. They're not supposed to be on the floor. It's like he was shot out of a starter's block. (Laughter).

Lakers Forward Pau Gasol

Q. You had a really good shooting night, 7 for 10. Can you talk about your offensive performance? And tell me how you guys adjust going back to Boston.
PAU GASOL: Well, you know, not really much of a point talking about my individual performance because it's a disappointing loss for our ballclub. But they did a good job. They really executed and had a really good game plan and got a nice win for themselves.
Adjustments, we definitely need to make sure we hustle a little more. They got to the ball tonight, a lot of times quicker than we did. Second‑chance opportunities and just loose balls, they were pursuing the ball definitely with more desire. So that's something that is a big thing. We just have to try to play together, execute aggressively, do the things that work for us and just play hard. That's pretty much it.

Q. Do you think the controversial press motivated them to come out and play harder tonight?
PAU GASOL: I don't know. It was a big game for both teams. I think both teams were motivated to play this game. We're in the NBA Finals. They just played better than we did tonight, and obviously Ray Allen shot the ball extremely well. That got them going. And Rondo controlled the game and got to a lot of balls. He was the top rebounder of the game as the point guard, so that tells you something. It's something we've got to look into and make sure it doesn't happen again.
So that's a couple key points there that we should realize.

Q. Given that you and Andrew had such strong games offensively and Kevin and Paul had tough nights and the Lakers were right there, how did the Lakers lose this one? What happened in the last few minutes? What happened with the execution?
PAU GASOL: Well, we turned the ball over a couple times down the stretch when the game was on the line. Then that possession where it was 17 seconds on the clock, we were scrambling like it was the last possession of the game, and we gave them a wide open look, a basket, when we were down three only, and it was two minutes or something to go. So that was tough, deflating. And we just couldn't convert offensively at the end. They took advantage and took their time and converted and executed their plays. So that's kind of how it got away from us.

Q. Is that like a mental thing, a mental lapse, or it just got away?
PAU GASOL: I guess you fall in the pace or the trap of mistakes, errors, at the wrong time of the game. We had a nice three‑point lead and it was three or four minutes to go, and we couldn't continue to do the things that were working for us. But we'll look into it with more detail and patience, and we'll try to adjust for Game 3 because it's a big‑time game again.
Again, we're going to have to really be extremely aggressive and strong mentally and physically.

Q. That play coming out of the time‑out where they had one second to advance the ball and then bang‑bang, all of a sudden there's a two‑on‑one coming at you. What happened there?
PAU GASOL: Yeah, obviously we were trying to deny passes on the other side of the court. They got the ball, but all of a sudden we were trapping a guy. Like I said, it seemed like it was 30 seconds to go and we were in desperation mode, and we gave them a lay‑up on that play, and that put us ‑‑ that play was pretty key, I think. They got the ball on the court, and now we've just got to play and stop them and don't lose our poise there. They got a good score, easy score, and that was, I think, a little bit deflating at that point.

Q. I was noticing today that throughout the playoffs you guys have had a lot of practice with transition defense, with Phoenix, with Oklahoma City. Today you guys had trouble with transition defense. Why do you think that is and how do you feel about that going forward?
PAU GASOL: Yeah, obviously the fast‑break points and Rondo pushing the ball and Ray getting going on transition is a big key for them. We've got to do a better job of springing back defensively and we've got to make sure we support our guards and we control their point guard penetrating the lane. It's something that we've got to make a conscious effort every single game.

Q. Do you feel like you and Drew, your effort was wasted tonight? Drew played very well offensively and defensively.
PAU GASOL: No, I don't feel like that at all. I think our effort was a positive thing in our production. We didn't win the ballgame. But our effort was good, and it's going to have to be even better, greater in Boston because it's going to be tougher to play there.

Q. What kind of strain does it put on you when you saw that Kobe was in foul trouble?
PAU GASOL: It puts you in a situation where your best player is in foul trouble, and it puts you in a situation of danger. It affects the team in different ways. He played through it and was still aggressive, but obviously he was limited. Limited minutes. He would have played more minutes if he wasn't in foul trouble. That was tough calls out there, but you can't control that. You've just got to play through the game and do your best.

Q. Do you feel you guys did a good job of reading the officiating tonight?
PAU GASOL: It was tough. You can try to read and see how it was going to go for you, but it's tough I think. We still have to play aggressive. For a second it seemed like we couldn't get a break. But like I said, you've got to play through that. There's nothing you can really do about it, you've just got to, again, play hard and do the things that you would normally do. You can measure it a little bit and see how much they allow, but tonight it was a tough night overall.

Lakers’ Guard Kobe Bryant

Q. Can you just talk about the disappointment, losing the home‑court knowing you have to win one in Boston to get back here.
KOBE BRYANT: We fought pretty hard to get back in the game, and then we let the game slip away.

Q. I asked you about the home‑court issue.
KOBE BRYANT: Well, we've just got to go into Boston and win.

Q. What do you see in Lamar's game right now? And what do you think he needs to do to be a little bit more productive for you guys?
KOBE BRYANT: Just stay out of early fouls.

Q. Last game you guys had a substantial advantage in the paint. Is that one of the key factors that you guys beat them with?
KOBE BRYANT: Yeah, the key factor is turnovers. You can't turn the ball over. We'll continue to pound the ball inside but we can't give them easy baskets in transition.

Q. What happened in that fourth quarter? Que pasa in that fourth quarter? You're going tied and then the ball always seemed to bounce into the Celtics' flow.
KOBE BRYANT: Just causing turnovers down the stretch.

Q. That's it?
KOBE BRYANT: That's it.

Q. Were you surprised when you got that fifth foul early in the fourth? And was it difficult to play with five fouls on the board?
KOBE BRYANT: You've just got to be careful. I don't expect to picking up five fouls the next game.

Q. Can you just talk, I know Phil talks about this all the time. What is the process that basketball players go through when you're dealing with quick whistles? How do you read officials and how do you guys determine how to based on what the officials call?
KOBE BRYANT: You've got to play. You've got to play your game and let the whistles sort themselves out.

Q. Ray Allen was just on fire in that first half. You're used to being perhaps on the other side of that, where you're the one putting up big numbers. Talk about what you do as a team to try to stop some of that.
KOBE BRYANT: You try to take the ball out of his hands as much as possible.

Q. And when he doesn't have the ball he's coming out of screens.
KOBE BRYANT: He's catching it. You've got to try to deny him and force him off his sweet spots. He was hot.

Q. Perfect example here of one game to another doesn't really mean anything, especially in The Finals. Each one is a new experience. The thought about going into Boston?
KOBE BRYANT: It's a series. You're trying to stay even keel. You don't get too high, don't get too low after a win or a loss. You just go into the next one and take care of business.

Q. When you are playing in foul trouble, how much do your opposing teams, the opposing teams, try to do things to get you out of the game or at least see if you're going to become passive?
KOBE BRYANT: Yeah, I'm sure it's part of the strategy at some point. As players you've just got to play through it and just try to be smart.

Q. Did you sense the Celtics saw that as a point of vulnerability or anything?
KOBE BRYANT: Yeah, at certain times of the game but not really, not much.

Q. Andrew said that you guys didn't lose home‑court until you lose Game 3. How much does that make Game 3 important to just take it right back as if you were up 2‑0?
KOBE BRYANT: It's the most important game. Game 1 was the most important, Game 2 was the most important, now it's Game 3.
It's just the next game, simple as that.

Q. What do you take positive out of this game? I know Andrew had a big 21‑point performance. Can you comment on those two things?
KOBE BRYANT: It has nothing to do with scoring. Nothing. It's all defensively. We gave them too many easy baskets and blew too many defensive assignments. That's it.

Lakers’ Center Andrew Bynum

Q: Did the Celtics want it more tonight?
Bynum: Of course they didn’t want it more. We just played stupid. We were up 90 to 87 and came down and had four turnovers.

Q: Did you and Pau Gasol get enough touches down low late in the quarters?
Bynum: Obviously we can get more touches, but that’s still not going to help us beat this team because you can’t beat them one on one. What you have to do is move the ball and move ourselves. We have to create more movement and more motion to create confusion and that’s what we did during Game 1. They were sitting down there looking at each other, but today we were the ones looking around each other.

Q: Why didn’t you guys have the same ball movement?
Bynum: I don’t know. We fall into isolation sometimes. That’s what happened.

Q: This was your first home loss during the Playoffs. Now you have to win one in Boston. Do you feel you’re at a disadvantage?
Bynum: No, we have to win two in Boston at least. That’s our goal going in. That’s my goal. It’s a tough loss.

Q: Did you feel as good as your numbers indicate?
Bynum: I’m just out playing hard. It is what it is with my knee, I’ve been telling myself that the entire Playoffs.

Q: What effect did Rajon Rondo have on the game?
Bynum: I mean a triple-double is unbelievable. He really capitalized on those turnovers because he was able to get out on the fast break in the fourth quarter. He had three or four right in a row. He pushed it up and I think he had a three at the end of the clock and he had an elbow jumper.

Lakers’ Forward Lamar Odom

Q: What was the mood like when you guys walked into the locker room?
Odom: A little uptight. I realize it’s a game that we wanted to execute right down to the end. It was anybody’s game with two or three minutes left. We didn’t do the things that we needed to do to win.

Q: You had to sit down in the first half because of foul trouble.
Odom: It’s two games in a row, both on drives against Paul Pierce. It took me out of the game. I was only able to play 14 minutes tonight. I couldn’t really contribute much, just in spirit. That’s the way the ball bounces sometimes.

Q: Are you frustrated with the way the first two games have played out for you?
Odom: If I’m out there I’m going to produce. Plain and simple. I’d rather be out there and play bad than not have a shot.

Q: Any way to stop a guy like Ray Allen when he’s hot like he was tonight?
Odom: It happens. There are two halves of basketball and we cooled him down a little bit. In the second half we were able to get into it and it was anyone’s game.

Q: When you drop a game being the home team, how do things change for you?
Odom: They don’t really change. You have to have a sense of urgency in every game you play. Of course, playing on the road is tough, but it’s just the way is.

Q How was Rajon Rondo able to get so many boards tonight?
Odom: He always gets the long rebounds. He has a great sense for the game. He’s great at it and he’s done it all year.

Celtics Coach Doc Rivers

Q. Talk about Ray. He was just so hot, and Rajon, doing what they do, also.
DOC RIVERS: They both were terrific. Ray in the first half when he gets into those zones, I was happy. Our team could see it and you could see they were doing everything they could to find him. They got him open. I thought most of them for us was in transition, though. We talked about it after Game 1. The only way to be able to hit Rondo in transition, we had to get multiple misses, multiple stops. And if we did that, our bigs ran, we though we could get our shooters open.

Rondo did a terrific job of finding him. He saved us in the first half with Kevin in foul trouble, Paul struggling. We needed points and Ray gave them to us.

Q. When a guy has a first half like that, like Ray did, do you want him coming out in the third quarter and shooting the minute he steps out of the locker room? Did he do a good job of not forcing it in the third quarter.
DOC RIVERS: They did a better job of guarding No. 1, and to start the third quarter they were scoring. By them scoring we were not running anymore and we couldn't get them in transition anymore, and the multiple stops, that's what we're talking about. We wanted to establish Ray and Paul coming out of halftime. You know, we got into that same pace the first six minutes of the third quarter that we were in in Game 1. They were scoring every time, we were turning the ball over, we were walking the ball up the floor, and we lost our tempo.

Q. Just talk about the turnovers, 12 in the first half, two in the second half.
DOC RIVERS: Yeah, well, the last couple were brutal. We had a chance to go up, be up nine or 12 to end the half. But we weathered that storm, and I thought in the second half we played with great composure because you knew they were going to make a run, and they did. They made several of them. For us to weather that storm with guys in foul trouble, we had to use every big. I'm just really proud of all of them.

I thought the seven minutes or six minutes that Nate Robinson played for us was huge. Rondo was exhausted. We needed offense. Ray was exhausted in that period, in that stretch, and we put Nate in and just one pick‑and‑roll and he scored, and he created scoring, so that was big for us.

Q. Talk about just managing the game, particularly when there was a time‑out called. How big was that?
DOC RIVERS: I guess it was big. We had one second left. You know, I'm glad they saw me. I don't think they had a choice but to see me. I was past them. (Laughter).
The guys got a kick out of that. You know, it was funny, as big as that little moment was. I actually thought that the bigger moment was all the players were laughing at me and it allowed them to breathe a little bit, and I thought that helped us.

The execution out of that was terrific, though. We spread the floor and we told the guys, move the floor, they'll double, and if we keep moving we may find a lay‑up, and we got one. So I was just proud of the execution.

Q. On that time‑out play had you looked at calling a second time‑out?
DOC RIVERS: Yeah. What we were doing was going to count to 4, and if Rondo didn't think that he could get it in, we were going to call another time‑out and advance the ball. But I wanted to see if I could get it in first so I could save the time‑out. I thought I may need it.

Q. You mentioned Nate's play in the fourth quarter but also the reserves in the third quarter when you guys got in foul trouble ‑‑
DOC RIVERS: The bench was huge, all of them. We were in foul trouble two games in a row now, and our bigs ‑‑ Kevin, really he only played six minutes in the first half, and the fact that we had a lead was huge for us. The rhythm for us offensively is tough when all your bigs are in foul trouble. We have a certain rotation that we want our bigs to play, and obviously it was blown up within four minutes of the game because of fouls.

I thought Rasheed was huge. You could see him struggling with the back, but he gave us as much as he could give. And Baby was huge.

Yeah, the bench was terrific.

Q. Rajon got so much publicity, that big number triple‑double against Cleveland, but has he ever for you done more different things to help win a game as he did tonight?
DOC RIVERS: No, tonight was unbelievable. He made the big shot. He made the elbow shot. I'm thinking Mark Price is somewhere celebrating. He took a million of those shots this summer, and he didn't hesitate, and that was my favorite play for him.

He just did a lot of things, the blocked shots, the steals. He's our quarterback, and he does a lot of stuff for us. He was special tonight.

Q. What's it like watching just the purity of Ray's shot go in?
DOC RIVERS: Well, it makes me a better coach, I can tell you that. (Laughter).
And when you draw up these plays and he makes them, you feel a lot smarter. He's a perfectionist. If you watched him yesterday and the last two days, he took a million shots. It's no coincidence that the great shooters are great shooters; they work on it more. You look on the TV early in the game, you see Kobe before everybody is out there shooting. Ray shows up three hours before every game, he's out there shooting. There's a reason they can shoot. He believes in it and we believe in it.

Q. I don't know if you saw the record, but eight is the record. Better than MJ's six in the first half and Scottie's seven.
DOC RIVERS: Well, I didn't know that. We needed every one of them. I can tell you that. It's amazing when you think about we had a player that had 27 points in the first half and we were only up six. That's how close the series is going to be.

Q. Can you talk about just what the Lakers are doing defensively. They have Kobe on Rajon and putting a smaller guy, Derek, on Ray. Is that helping Ray out?
DOC RIVERS: We were talking about it. Teams have done it all year, so it's nothing new putting a big guy on Rondo and a smaller guy on Ray, and every time we do that we feel we can give Ray shots, and that's what happened. Obviously it's a lot better when he's on the floor. Ray couldn't play the last game. He was in foul trouble the entire game. Tonight he was able to play. He stayed in his rhythm, and we got him great shots.

Q. I don't know if you saw the little smirk he had after he hit one of them. Is that about as hot as you have seen him?
DOC RIVERS: I have not seen him much warmer than tonight.

Q. Even if the Lakers were dominating inside, do you plan to change something in Game 3 the way you played Gasol and Bynum, the way you played defensively against those guys?
DOC RIVERS: We're good. We're going to keep it the way we kept it. If we don't turn the ball over in the first half and give up some offensive rebounds. I mean, they shot 40 percent, 41 percent. We'll take that every night.

Q. With Kobe playing so much in foul trouble, does he become a player to attack offensively whether he's Kobe or anybody else?
DOC RIVERS: Well, as long as it's in rhythm, that's what we kept saying. I could hear my players talking about it when we were in the time‑out. I kept saying, guys, stay within the rhythm of your offense. I believe when teams try to get that sixth foul, they lose the rhythm, the ball stops moving and you usually don't score or get the foul. We would have loved to have got his sixth foul, but we were not going to do it out of the rhythm of our offense. We would have loved to have fouled him or attacked him, but we were fine with that.

Q. Do you feel there's any trend or a key trend when a star player has five fouls in an important game? Are the prospects of him fouling out, greater than usual?
DOC RIVERS: I'm going to just let you say that. Whatever you think. That's the way I'm going to end that one ‑‑

Celtics Forward Paul Pierce

Q: What was the difference between this game and Game 1?
Pierce: We just went out there and played Celtic basketball, for the most part. That’s the team I really recognize today. It’s a big win. But then again it’s only one game. We’re happy with the way we competed; [it’s] the way we should have come out in Game 1 … but we got the job done.

Q: Can you talk about Rondo’s play in the second half?
Pierce: He was big. That’s the key for us. If we can get stops and get Rondo out in transition, that’s big for us. He did everything tonight – he rebounded, passed, he controlled the tempo – and that’s how we’ve got to play. Get the ball in his hands and let him make things happen.

Q: How good was Ray Allen in the first half?
Pierce: He was unbelievable. He just looked like a basketball player who was … somebody took his ball last game. He just came out here … [had] him a chance to play and shot lights out. You could tell he was frustrated from the last game because of the foul trouble … and I think he showed us that Ray Allen is a future hall of famer and one of the greatest shooters to ever play.

Q: [Inaudible]
Pierce: We kept saying that if we don’t turn the ball over [and if] we rebound, we give ourselves the best chance. I thought we played well in the first half for the most part, but then [in those] last three minutes [it was] turnover, turnover … and we didn’t get those loose balls and they were able to get back in the game. We were up 13; we thought we should have been up 16 or 17, but because of all those turnovers … they cost you. Against the Lakers you can’t turn over the ball. They’re really good in transition … we have to have better second and third quarters, keep our turnovers down, and that’ll be the key to the series.

Q: How do you feel about the 2-3-2 Finals format?
Pierce: I don’t know. It is what it is. We took home court, so we’ve got a chance to play three games [at home]. But, I told ya’ll yesterday that doesn’t guarantee we’re going to win the games because we’re at home. We’ve got to go out there and play the game. They’re going to be coming into our house and we can’t assume anything – we can’t take it for granted. So we’ll take it one game at a time. But it’s a big game today, and I’m glad to go home.

Celtics Guard Rajon Rondo

Celtics Guard Ray Allen

Q. Doc talked about the other night he felt as though you were going to have one of those nights like you were having tonight, and tonight you did have it.
RAY ALLEN: Yeah, the other night was frustrating, just being a part of a game that I was so looking forward to. We didn't make it this far last year, so the anticipation being off after six or seven days was so great. Getting into that game, it was a competitive game, it was tough fought, and they played great. It was tough just trying to adjust the referees on the sideline, so just trying to root them on. Physically I felt great. I was getting to the spots I needed to, just never really got in a great rhythm.

So tonight I just was focused on adjustments to Kobe attacking, being in position before I could get a bad call, helping my teammates out and making sure we moved the ball. Bigs created screens for me today. Rondo pushed the ball in transition, we got a lot move fast‑break opportunities this time than we did in Game 1. We got stops and we were able to run, so the three ball did go in the air definitely a little more tonight.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about getting into a rhythm so early and being able to sustain it throughout the first half? It seems they were kind of scrambling to figure out how to limit your three‑point shooting.
RAY ALLEN: Well, starting the game off you don't want that first shot to be a three‑pointer. You want to try to work your way into the game. But if it has to be, it has to be. I try not to turn a shot down when I'm over it for sure. But the ball, it bounced more in our favor. I think we had more activity in this game, we had more energy. We fought harder, and the ball did bounce more in our favor. So there were a couple threes that the ball bounced kind of funky and we ended up getting it, and I'm right at the three‑point line. I do remember one in the fourth quarter where I kind of moved back down the floor, but if I was in position I would have got another one.
We fought and got those extra possessions this time. Early in the game we were able to get it in transition, and I got a couple threes early, and nothing was rushed basically. I was just the recipient of a lot of those baskets.

Q. That time‑out where you had one second to get the ball across half court, Doc mentioned that you guys kind of had a laugh at his expense during that time‑out.
RAY ALLEN: Yeah, we did. He claimed that he's in shape, and when he ran out there we told him he looked like he wasn't in shape. You guys have got to give him a hard time about that. But he made it out there, so it definitely got us an extra possession.

Q. How did you get open at half court?
RAY ALLEN: Well, I screened Kevin's man. I screened Gasol, and when he flashed the ball they tried to switch. Then I came up and then they really ran to me and then he was open again. We ended up getting a basket out of it.

Q. Talk about that one three, I think it might have been five or six in, you just turned and smiled and ran back. What was going through your mind at that time?
RAY ALLEN: You know, to me it was just thinking about going back to Game 1, just having that feeling of being resilient as a team. You know, you could do everything you can defensively. As a team we're trying to stop Kobe, we're trying to stop Pau, we're trying to stop all their guys. But it's those plays, those hard plays where somebody gets on the ground and they throw the ball back out and you end up getting a three‑pointer. Those are the things that are rewarding. When I got that three, it was a sense of calmness and reward that I knew I had at that moment.
Again, it wasn't a rushed feeling, it was just good basketball.

Q. With all due respect to Fish, you have him by three or four inches. Do you feel the need to exploit this? And how do you feel about playing a smaller guy?
RAY ALLEN: Well, we got so many guys that can offensively carry this team. Really it's about us individually not trying to do too much. I'm trying not to do too much. Getting Fisher, run him off screens and forcing their bigs to help. That's when we get our bigs involved in the game because rewarding them, when they're setting great screen they end up being open. That's somewhat the thought process. But it's like me making a hard cut from one side of the basket to the other, and Paul gets a shot or Kevin gets a lay‑up. That's all of our mentalities, and if we can do that then the ball will move and we'll score the way we want to score.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about the level of chemistry that you and Rondo have developed and maybe the biggest part of his development in the last couple years?
RAY ALLEN: I think for Rondo, he knows where I'm going to be. I understand when he's going to pass and he's not going to pass, but you've always got to be ready for him because he'll make a quick pass when you didn't think he was going to pass it. He gets in there so fast you've got to get to your spot real early. For me I just try to get to my spot. He always wants me to cut, but I tell him if I cut, I'm going to clog his space up. I'm getting an outlet. You make a move, get to the basket, and you'll be ready for your outlet if you get stuck anywhere.

Q. Most ever threes you ever hit in a Finals game. Were you surprised after you hit your first three or four that the Lakers didn't make it tougher for you to hit the three, that they would have narrowed in on your spacing?
RAY ALLEN: I didn't think it was easy. You know, getting the threes up in the air, it was like somebody ‑‑ you look up and I'm shooting a three and everybody is probably thinking, how did this guy get them? But there's so much going on out there from great screens being set to misdirection plays. Everybody, like I said earlier, making sharp cuts. I ended up somewhere on the three‑point line, or rebounds, offensive rebounds, we'd get it back and that's the best time to get a three‑point up. I thought they did everything they could to keep me from shooting threes and they worked tirelessly. We were setting great screens and I was getting to my spots.

Q. The one stat that jumped out at me was Rondo's 12 rebounds leading the team in rebounding. Talk to me how big he was in this game tonight.
RAY ALLEN: He had a triple‑double, he was awesome. Thinking about passing the ball, like getting in the gaps, you know, he's so athletic, he does so many different things, and that's probably something people don't realize. He's so unheralded when he gets in there getting the rebounds because he's so athletic. One rebound he went to the roof, it seemed like he went over all the bigs. But that does give us another dimension. When he can rebound like that, it does take the pressure off our bigs to have double‑digit rebounds every night when our guards are getting it. Sometimes they're bouncing long. That's the difference in our offensive rebounds that they didn't get tonight, we got those rebounds. A lot of the onus is on the guard because if they bounce long, we have to get those and he got them tonight.

Q. Four offensive rebounds tonight.
RAY ALLEN: Yeah, again, those four offensive rebounds, those where the threes they come back in play, and it gets our bigs easier shots.

Q. Did it feel like you had to wait two extra days for The Finals to start? You hardly got to play in the first game because of foul trouble. How did you get through it?
RAY ALLEN: The last two days definitely were frustrating. The game and then the four or five days before that was frustrating because I like to get out there and play. I like to get the ball bouncing. You have to have patience. But for me anything else going on in my life is put on hold because it's hard to focus on anything else. Even though I'm not watching ‑‑ I watch the film and go to practice when I have to, but when I'm at home I try to do other things. But here in The Finals it's tough. Like I tried to play golf a couple days ago, and I really couldn't focus on it because my mind was thinking every second, you know, how am I going to guard Kobe on this play? Or certain opportunities that we need to do, how we're going to guard Gasol in the post, so many different things. Throughout the day it would just flash in my head. Whatever I'm doing I might be spaced out. Somebody might be asking me a question and I'm not right there at that moment.
This moment is our moment, and we've got to take advantage of it.

Q. Kind of a similar question: Tony was saying at practice you had like a mean look on your face and you were really quiet. He thought maybe you were stewing over the fact you got in foul trouble the last game. Were you upset about that? And did you decide to take your frustrations out on the Lakers?
RAY ALLEN: Well, I was upset. The way I went into practice yesterday and the day before, I was disappointed that obviously we lost. I was trying to think of the things that I need to do to be better. So when I went and practiced yesterday, I spoke with most of you yesterday, and I wasn't in the best of moods because I was ready to practice. I was ready to get through practice and do the things we need to do at least to relieve some of the tension that we had as a team and I had individually.
So being on the same page, and that's kind of how I felt. I felt I was just in limbo, like I've got to hurry up and play another game. It's like that feeling when you lose during the regular season on a Monday and you play again on Tuesday, you can't wait to play on Tuesday back to back. I definitely was there, but I've got to keep that. But coming into the game today, I just focused on being the best team player I could.

Q. You've had a lot of great shooting nights but where would you rank this one considering the stage?
RAY ALLEN: It's definitely right up there because there's no better place, moment, time to play a game, to win a game, and to win in a great fashion where everybody has to do it together as a team, and to be able to shoot the ball. And I don't know what record it is that people are telling me that I got, but it's great to have. Great to be able to look back on it and say I did that. This is definitely the time. This is definitely our time.

Q. Just following the subject: Do you remember Michael Jordan in '92 and him making threes against the Blazers? You cleared his record, the record made by Michael Jordan.
RAY ALLEN: Yeah, I do remember that. Mike, I'm going to tell him that his were a lot easier. It definitely looked like he was just ‑‑ he wasn't running off screens, he was shooting the ball and he had it going. I think as a child those are some of my favorite memories, just being a fan of MJ, and the things he did and the playoffs and The Finals, that's something that's going to stand out in my mind for the rest of my life. I know we have a great challenge as players now to imprint these good things on kids growing up in the world. So I'm glad that we're able to do this.

Celtics Center Glen Davis

Q: Talk about the second-chance points and the 50/50 balls that weren’t going your way in Game 1. Talk about your hustle tonight.

Davis: 50/50 is big for us; we’ve got to have 50/50. 50/50 can determine the game. That’s just what we need to do and I felt we did a great job of that today.

Q: Do you think about your last game against L.A. in The Finals at the Garden?

Davis: No, I don’t even think about that. I just think about this year, how they beat us with a big shot. We just have to stay focused and close out at home.

Q: Can you talk about your hustle at the beginning of the fourth quarter?

Davis: I’m an energy guy, that’s what I’m supposed to do. I go out there and bring energy. I tried my best tonight … and we got the win.

Q: What are your thoughts on Ray Allen tonight?

Davis: Ray was great. He carried us – he carried us most definitely. We needed that from him today. Other guys couldn’t get it going really fast but we got it going when we needed to get it going, and he did a great job.

Q: What does it say that two of your best players didn’t play that well tonight and you still beat the defending champions?

Davis: Our bench did a great job, picked up the slack for each other, and made things happen.

Q: What was the mood like in the locker room at halftime?

Davis: We were just trying to make sure that we’ve got to close out the half and we can’t let that happen again. Adjust what we need to adjust and just make sure that we stay calm, ready, and poised …

Lakers-Celtics Preview

By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP)—Rajon Rondo often enjoys returning to his room at the Celtics’ hotel and watching tape of a Boston victory before he goes to sleep.

The losses, not so much.

Yet Rondo did just that after the NBA finals opener Thursday with teammate Kendrick Perkins, ordering room service and watching the replay of the Los Angeles Lakers’ decisive win. In his own room elsewhere in the hotel, Kevin Garnett did the same thing—twice.

“You learn a lot about yourself when you lose,” Garnett said. “You learn a lot about yourself when you’re down. This shows what you’re made of.”

While Rondo and Perkins muted the television, Garnett turned it up to hear every unflattering thing said about the Celtics. Yet all three came away from the film session with two conclusions: Kobe Bryant is awfully good, but Boston still can compete with the Lakers.

“That might be the first time after a loss that I watched a game again so quickly,” Rondo said Saturday before Boston’s workout at the Lakers’ training complex. “This isn’t the first round any more. You don’t have a lot of time to get things right. I think I correct my mistakes better when I see them.”

Rondo, Perkins and their teammates all promised increased intensity in every aspect of their considerable games when they look to avoid an 0-2 series hole Sunday night in Game 2. After staggering into this finals rematch with an unimpressive effort, Boston hopes focus and adjustments will make their trip out West worthwhile.

“Everybody gets punched,” Celtics big man Glen Davis said. “Everybody gets knocked out. It’s about how you get up. We got punched. We got dazed. It’s about how you react to it.”

The Celtics all realize that while Bryant’s offensive artistry is responsible for most of the attention directed at him, particularly after 12 30-point games already in this postseason, he’s a perennial all-defensive team selection for a reason. Rondo used his film session to analyze exactly what Bryant did to slow down both the Celtics and their young point guard.

“He’s a good defensive player, and we all knew that,” Rondo said. “He did a great job on me. A lot of what they do on both ends keys off Kobe.”

Bryant guarded Rondo at times during the 2008 finals largely because the matchup left him free to help out on other defensive matchups while daring Rondo to beat them.

After Rondo shredded Cleveland and Orlando in consecutive playoff series, he’s possibly the Celtics’ single biggest offensive threat. The Lakers concentrated on using Bryant’s superior size to direct Rondo into tough areas of the court.

“You don’t want to overcommit too much, but it’s a full-time job because he’s very smart,” Bryant said. “He gets after it quite a bit. It takes a great deal of energy and effort to key in on him.”

So everybody played a role. When Rondo slipped underneath the basket for difficult layup attempts in the first half of Game 1, both Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum rudely swatted away one of his shots. Lakers coach Phil Jackson drilled his big men on resisting the urge to pick up Rondo immediately, which would allow Rondo to pass to his own low-post players for dunks.

“We try not to commit too early, because that’s when they get you,” Bynum said. “You just have to stay disciplined, and we did that in Game 1.”

Boston ended up with playoff lows in field goals (29) and attempts (67), and Celtics coach Doc Rivers traces it all back to his team’s play on defense.

Los Angeles surprised Boston by running relatively little of its customary triangle offense, instead using pick-and-roll plays that cleared space for numerous aggressive drives to the hoop, even by backup guards Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown. Add that to a passionless rebounding effort in a foul-plagued game, and Rivers wasn’t surprised to see the Celtics manage just 89 points.

“Rondo is not going to get going if we don’t get stops,” Rivers said. “Our offense is directly connected to our defense. Every team’s is, for the most part, if you want to run. If we’re going to take the ball out of bounds, if they’re going to shoot free throws, they’re going to get second shots, Rondo is not going to be in the open court. If we can get multiple stops, we can get multiple runs.”

Rivers and Jackson both seemed pleased to have an extra day off between the series’ first two games, as dictated by the NBA’s television schedule. Sunday’s meeting is the first of three in five days, with a cross country flight thrown in, so the time for game-planning was Saturday, and both coaching staffs knew it.

“I think we gain some time for guys that obviously can use time,” Jackson said, referring to several Lakers nursing minor injuries—including Bryant, who again watched practice from a folding chair at courtside.

Jackson said the break gives the Lakers “an opportunity to digest some of the things that are ongoing, concerns about our team’s effort, where we have to expend more energy, more focus. I think you lose a little bit of the continuity of that nervous energy that you build up to get into a series, so you can lose a little bit of your guard. That will be something we have to be prepared for.”

Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited


Lakers-Celtics Scouting Report

As we have said throughout the playoffs, the next game is always the most important one. In game 1 we did a good job on the boards holding a 42-31 advantage. We had 12 offensive rebounds and it was 16-0 in second chance points. We know the Celtics will attempt to do a better job on the glass in game 2 and as the old playoff slogan goes, “No Rebound, No Rings”. We must be ready to do battle on the boards again.

Regster to Lakers Courtside Connection to read more.

Lakers-Celtics Injury Report

Shannon Brown (sprained right thumb) will play.
Kobe Bryant (arthritis, right index finger) will play.
Andrew Bynum (slight tear, lateral meniscus, right knee) is probable.
Luke Walton (pinched nerve, back) is probable.

Marquis Daniels (concussion) is day-to-day

Lakers-Celtics Game Notes

The Lakers split their 2009-10 season series with the Celtics 1-1 after sweeping last season’s series with Boston 2-0. The two teams have met 181 times since the Lakers moved to Los Angeles prior to the 1960- 61 season with Los Angeles trailing the series 83-98. Including their time in Minneapolis, the Lakers and Celtics have met 272 times in all with Boston leading the all-time series 152-120. The Lakers are 6-4 against the Celtics in their last 10 overall regular season meetings. In Boston, the Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 regular season games at TD Garden while in Los Angeles, the Lakers are 7-4 all-time against the Celtics at STAPLES Center (regular season). Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 13-7 against Boston during the regular season. With the Lakers 92-83 Christmas Day victory in 2008, Phil Jackson recorded his 1,000th career victory as an NBA head coach. Under Jackson, the Lakers have swept Boston on five occasions while twice being swept by the Celtics during the regular season. In 22 career regular season games against Boston including 19 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 24.8 points, but missed their most recent meeting (2/18/10) with a left ankle injury. Pau Gasol is the next highest scoring Laker career-wise versus Boston, averaging 17.9 points in 15 career regular season games against the Celtics. Celtics forward Paul Pierce grew up in Southern California, attending Inglewood High. Last season, Phil Jackson surpassed legendary Celtics head coach Red Auerbach (9) with his 10th NBA championship as a head coach, an NBA record. Jackson surpassed Auerbach in all-time victories during the 2007-08 season and in games coached during the 2008-09 season. Losing to the Celtics in six games during the 2008 NBA Finals, the Lakers and Celtics are now meeting in their 12th NBA Finals dating back to Minneapolis in 1959. The Lakers are 2-9 in NBA Finals series against Boston, with the Celtics taking the first eight before Los Angeles won in 1985 and 1987.

- This will be the Lakers 25th trip to the NBA Finals since moving to Los Angeles (31st overall) and 16th since Dr. Jerry Buss purchased the team prior to 1979-80.

In 24 trips to the NBA Finals since moving to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season, the Lakers are 10-14 all-time (15-15 overall) and 9-6 under Buss.

The Lakers are now 86-87 all-time in the NBA Finals (66-72 Los Angeles, 20-15 Minneapolis).

Since the NBA went to a 2-3-2 format prior to the ‘85 Finals, the Lakers are 7-4 overall & 6-1 when holding home-court advantage (1987-88, 2000-02, 2004, 2009).

The Lakers are now 16-15 in Game #1 of the NBA Finals (12-13 LosAngeles, 4-2 Minneapolis).

When winning Gam e#1 of the NBA Finals, the Lakers are 10-5 all-time (6-5 LosAngeles, 4-0 Minneapolis).

The Lakers are 14-16 in Game #2 of the NBA Finals (12-12 Los Angeles, 2-4 Minneapolis).

When winning Game #1 and #2of the NBA Finals, the Lakers are: 4-1 LosAngeles,1-0 Minneapolis.

When splitting Game #1 and #2 of the NBA Finals, the Lakers are: 6-8 LosAngeles,4-0 Minneapolis.

The Lakers are 12-3 all-time in the NBA Finals when holding home court advantage. (8-3 Los Angeles, 4-0 Minneapolis)

In the Lakers Game 1 victory over the Celtics, Kobe Bryant scored 30 points, marking the 11th time in his career that he has posted a 30+ point game in the NBA Finals (only Shaquille O’Neal (16) has more 30+ point games in the Finals among all active players). Jerry West holds the NBA Finals record for most 30+ point games with 31 during his Hall-of-Fame career. Additionally, Bryant has now scored 30+ points in four consecutive Finals game dating back to last year, the longest such streak since Dwyane Wade tallied four straight 30+ points games in the 2006 NBA Finals.*

With 30 points 6/3 vs. Boston, Kobe Bryant recorded his 76th career 30+ point playoff game, moving him past both Jerry West (74) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (75) for the second most 30+ point playoff games in NBA history. Only Michael Jordan (109) has more 30+ point playoff games than Bryant. Elgin Baylor (60) and Shaquille O’Neal (55) round out the all-time list. Bryant, who recorded his first 30+ point playoff game in the 2000 NBA Playoffs, has posted 12 30+ point games this postseason alone. The most 30+ point games Bryant has ever recorded in a single postseason game last year when he posted 15 such games.

Since moving to STAPLES Center prior to the 1999-2000 season, the Lakers have won 85% of their postseason home games (72-13). The Lakers have topped the century mark in over half of their postseason home games at STAPLES Center (51-of-85) while the opposition has been held under 100 points in all but 25 of those games. Since the start of the 2008 NBA Playoffs, the Lakers are 29-3 in games played at STAPLES Center. In their last 48 home playoff games, the Lakers are 42-6 and have won 12 straight dating back to the 2009 Western Conference Finals.

With their victory over the Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on June 3rd, the Lakers improved to 9-0 at home this postseason and won their 12th straight playoff game at STAPLES Center dating back to the 2009 Western Conference Finals. The NBA record for most games won at home without a loss in one year is 10, held by the 1977 Trail Blazers, 1986 Celtics, 1987 Lakers and 1996 Bulls. The NBA record for most consecutive games won at home in one year is also 10, held by the 1977 Trail Blazers, 1986 Celtics, 1987 Lakers, 1990 Pistons, 1996 Bulls and 1997 Jazz. Finally, the NBA record for most consecutive games won at home, all playoff series, is 15, held by the 1990-91 Bulls, while 14 has been accomplished three times by the 1949-51 Lakers, 1986-87 Celtics and 1989-90 Pistons.

The Lakers 102-89 victory over the Celtics in Game 1 matched Boston’s largest previous margin of defeat in the first game of the NBA Finals. Their other 13-point opening game loss also came to the Lakers in Game 1 of the 1987 NBA Finals. Since the current NBA Playoff format was established in 1984, the Game 1 winner has won The Finals 19 times while losing on seven occasions. The last Game 1 winner to lose in The Finals was Dallas in 2006. Prior to that, it was Philadelphia in 2001. All-time in the NBA Finals, the Game 1 winner has won the series 46 times while losing on 17 occasions.*

With their 102-89 victory over the Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the Lakers scored 100+ points for the 11th straight time (9-2) in the 2010 Playoffs. The streak is the longest by an NBA team in one playoff year since Phoenix did so in 12 straight games during the 2005 postseason. It is the longest such streak by a Lakers team since the 1986 Lakers scored 100+ points in 12 consecutive playoff games.*

With a close-out Game 6 victory in the Western Conference Finals at Phoenix on May 29th, the Lakers became the 7th team since the 16-team NBA Playoff format began in 1983-84 to close out all three opponents on the road en route to the NBA Finals, joining the 2005-06 Mavericks, 2002-03 Spurs, 1998-99 Spurs, 1988-89 Pistons and Lakers and the 1985-86 Houston Rockets. Three of the previous six teams to do so went on to win an NBA Championship (’03 Spurs, ’99 Spurs, ’89 Pistons).

When Phil Jackson wins Game 1 of any playoff series, best-of-five or best-of-seven, his teams are 47-0, having gone 24-0 with Chicago and 23-0 with the Lakers. When Jackson-led teams open a series with a 2-0 lead, he is 36-0 all-time. And when holding a series lead of any kind, Jackson’s teams are 54-1 all-time.

With 37 points in a Game 6 victory 5/29 at Phoenix, Kobe Bryant finished the Western Conference Finals averaging 33.7 points per game while shooting 52.1 percent from the field. It was the 3rd highest scoring average Bryant has recorded in 38 career NBA playoff series, but the first time he had coupled such a high average with a shooting percentage of at least 50 percent. Over the last 35 seasons, only one other player led his team to a Conference Finals series victory with both a scoring average and a shooting percentage as high as Bryant's. Against the Spurs in 1995, the Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwon averaged 35.3 points while shooting 56.0 percent from the field.


The Lakers and Celtics have met 11 previous times in the postseason (1959, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1984, 1985, 1987 and 2008), each time in the NBA Finals, with Los Angeles defeating Boston twice overall. The Lakers total of 68 playoff games against the Celtics (64 in LA era) is the highest number of games against a single team in the franchise’s postseason history ahead of Phoenix (62) and San Antonio (52). The Lakers are 18-15 against the Celtics at home, 10-25 when visiting Boston and 28-40 overall against the Celtics in the postseason. Of their 11 meetings in the NBA Finals, four have gone the full seven games (1962, 1966, 1969, 1984) while five have gone six games (1963, 1968, 1985, 1987, 2008). Only once (1959) has there been a sweep. This will be just the third time that the Lakers have owned home court advantage (1969, 1987) against the Celtics. The Lakers are 2-1 against Boston since the Finals went to the 2-3-2 format beginning in 1985.


With 37 points in Game 6 of the Conf. Finals 5/29 at Phoenix, Kobe Bryant recorded 30+ points for the 8th consecutive time in a road game in which the Lakers have had the opportunity to close a series out. His string of eight straight such games is an NBA record, with Elgin Baylor (6), Michael Jordan (5) and Oscar Robertson (4) rounding out the list. Bryant’s streak began with 31 points (12-24 FG) 4/28/08 @ DEN and continued with 34 points (9-19 FG) 5/16/08 @ UTAH, 32 points (11-27 FG) 5/14/09 @ HOU, 35 points (12-20 FG) 5/29/09 @ DEN, 30 points (10-23 FG) 6/14/09 @ ORL, 32 points (12-25 FG) 4/30/10 @ OKC and 32 points (11-23 FG) 5/10/10 @ UTAH.*

BRYANT PASSES KARL MALONE FOR 4th ON NBA’S ALL-TIME PLAYOFF SCORING LIST With a 3-point field goal at the 2:04 mark of the second quarter May 25 at Phoenix, Kobe Bryant passed Karl Malone (4,761) for 4th on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list. Earlier this postseason, with a fade away jumper at the 8:58 mark of the third quarter April 22 at Oklahoma City, Bryant moved past Jerry West (4,457) for 1st on the Lakers all-time playoff scoring list and 5th on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list. Only Michael Jordan (1st/5,987), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2nd/5,762) and Shaquille O’Neal (3rd/5,248) have scored more points in the playoffs than Bryant (4,882). Among all players with 2,500+ postseason points, only Michael Jordan (33.4), Jerry West (29.1), Elgin Baylor (27.0), Hakeem Olajuwon (25.9) and Dirk Nowitzki (25.6) have a higher postseason scoring average than Bryant (25.4).

With the Lakers victory over Boston on June 3rd, Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant combined for their 111th playoff victory as a player/coach duo. No other player/coach tandem in the history of the NBA has won more playoff games together. This postseason, the Jackson/Bryant combination passed Jackson and Scottie Pippen (110), Michael Jordan and Jackson (105) and Tim Duncan and Greg Popovich (105) while Derek Fisher and Jackson have now been together for 105 playoff wins. Rounding out the list, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Pat Riley teamed up for 102 playoff victories as did Michael Cooper and Riley with the Lakers.

Twice in the Lakers Western Conference Finals series with the Phoenix Suns, Kobe Bryant missed a triple-double by either a single assist or single rebound. In Game 3, Bryant finished with 36 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists while in Game 5, he finished with 30 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Bryant, who has 16 career regular season triple-doubles, is still seeking his first in the postseason. The last Laker to post a triple-double in the playoffs was Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who recorded 19 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists 6/2/91 at Chicago.

With the Lakers NBA Championship a season ago, Luke Walton became part of just the third father/son tandem in NBA history to play on NBA Championship winning teams. His father, Hall of Fame center Bill Walton, won championships with the Portland Trailblazers (1977) and Boston Celtics (1986). Should the Lakers win the title this season, the Waltons would become the most decorated father/son tandem in league history, surpassing the Guokas and Barry families: Matt Guokas (1947 Philadelphia Warriors) / Matty Guokas Jr. (1967 Philadelphia 76ers) and Rick Barry (1975 Golden State Warriors) / Brent Barry (2005 and 2007 San Antonio Spurs). This is now Walton’s fourth opportunity, having previously played in the 2004 NBA Finals during this rookie season, 2008 NBA Finals and 2009 NBA Finals a season ago.

With 21 points, a playoff career-high 13 assists and five rebounds in the Lakers May 19th 124-112 victory vs. Phoenix, Kobe Bryant handed out the most assists in a Lakers postseason game since Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson posted 13 assists 4/30/96 at Houston in Round 1 of the 1996 NBA Playoffs. Bryant, who has had 12 or more assists in 18 regular season games and whose previous postseason-high in assists was 11 (5/27/01 vs. SA), has posted nine double-figure assists games in his playoff career.


In Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, Lamar Odom recorded 19 points and 19 rebounds, becoming just the second player in the last 20 years to post at least 19 points and 19 rebounds in a playoff game off the bench. Paul Millsap totaled 22 points and 19 rebounds as a reserve in the Jazz’s first round series with Denver this postseason. Prior to Millsap, the last player to do so was the Maverick’s Roy Tarpley, who posted 21 points and 20 rebounds during the 1988 playoffs. In Games 2 (17 points, 11 rebounds), 4 (15 points, 10 rebounds) and 5 (17 points, 13 rebounds) of the Conference Finals, Odom also posted double-doubles as a reserve. With four double-doubles off the bench in the 2010 Western Conference Finals alone, Odom has now posted NINE career playoff double-doubles as a reserve (32 career playoff double-doubles), giving him the most among all active players ahead of Millsap (5) and Marcus Camby (5).

With 40 points on 13-of-23 shooting (11-12 FT) in Game 1 of the 2010 Western Conference Finals on May 17th, Kobe Bryant posted his first 40+ point game of the 2010 Playoffs. This is the 5th consecutive postseason (2006-10) in which Bryant has had at least one game with 40+ points. Only one other player in NBA history has had 40+ point games in each of five straight playoff years; Michael Jordan’s eight-year streak from 1985-1992. The 40 points 5/17 vs. Phoenix marked the 11th time in his career that Bryant has scored 40+ points in a playoff game, with the Lakers going 10-1 in those contests. Bryant’s 11 40+ point playoff games rank 2nd among active players (Shaquille O’Neal, 12) and are now tied for 3rd in team history along with Shaquille O’Neal (11) behind Jerry West (20) and Elgin Baylor (14).

Bryant’s 40+ point playoff games in chronological order are as follows: 48 points 5/13/01 @ SAC (W), 45 points 5/19/01 @ SA (W), 42 points 5/11/04 vs. SA (W), 50 points 5/4/06 vs. PHO (L), 45 points 4/26/07 vs. PHO (W), 49 points 4/23/08 vs. DEN (W), 40 points 5/6/09 vs. HOU (W), 40 points 5/19/09 vs. DEN (W), 41 points 5/23/09 @ DEN (W), 40 points 6/4/09 vs. ORL (W) and 40 points 5/17/10 vs. PHX (W).

During the regular season, Bryant has scored 40+ points 104 times in his career. In the history of the NBA, only two players have more career regular season 40-point games: Wilt Chamberlain (271) and Michael Jordan (173). The Lakers are 72-32 in games that Bryant has scored 40+ points during the regular season. This season, the Lakers were 7-1 when Bryant scored 40-plus.


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