I have to say that the Lakers were really a dominant force yesterday, especially in the second half, as in the third quarter they were ahead by as much points as 20. But you know, these are the finals, and neither team played bad, though Los Angeles wanted it more, and so they came up with a valuable 102-89 at Staples Center, with the following game of the series coming on Sunday night.
Kobe Bryant finished the game with 31 points (this meant his twelfth 30-point game in the current playoffs) , and nothing wrong can be said about his performance as he was equally good playing individually, as well as in group. These Lakers are certainly not the same that faced Boston a couple of years ago in the finals, in fact, this a tougher, more consistent team, with Players like Pau Gasol, who ended up with 23 points and fourteen rebounds and who was probably the second best player in the court last night.
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But another key factor for the Lakers’ victory was Ron Artest and his defensive display. He was always where he was needed, blocking shots, and recovering the ball. It was almost impossible not to notice his large contribution, as he also came up with fifteen points.
Another player that played outstandingly and that helped the Lakers to be currently 9-0 playing at home in the playoffs was Andrew Bynum, who came up with a great overall game and 10 points in despite of being injured in a leg.
I have to say that I was a little bit disappointed concerning Paul Pierce, as although he ended up scoring 24 points, he could have had a bigger night, but missed a good number of three-pointers when his team most needed them. And when it comes to Kevin Garnett, well, let’s say that his performance was probably not according to what most people was expecting. He scored 16, but was playing really slow and had a few turnarounds that truly hurt Boston.
The Celtics probably don’t want to be remembered that Phil Jackson’s teams in Los Angeles and Chicago have won a total of 47 straight postseason series after winning game one, but they need to have that statistic very fresh in their minds if they want to be aware of tough their rival is.
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