The 108-105 final shouldn’t have been nearly as close as it was; it’s a testament to the Jazz that they can fight back like that (and it probably wouldn’t have been that close if the refs didn’t seem like they were trying to equal out fouls each way.) But, Kobe Bryant got 34 (12 in the 4th), and Pau Gasol’s 17 points and 13 boards have the Lakers awaiting the winner of the Game 7 between the Spurs and the Hornets. Neither Carlos Boozer nor Mehmet Okur could really get it started tonight, as they hadn’t for much of the series, and that means that no matter what Deron Williams did, it wasn’t going to be enough. Whether Kobe & his Bench Mob, as SI called them, are going to be title-worthy is still anyone’s guess — as that closing was less than convincing.
Clearly, when Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are under 20 points for a game right now, it’s not good for the Celtics (Pierce had 16, Allen only nine points.) When LeBron is going off for 32 and 19 of those come in the second half on top of that, it means we’ve got Game 7 on Sunday, and what looks like the competition to see who can lose to the Pistons in six. What’s amazing is that LeBron is still shooting poorly yet he’s getting his in — he’s capable of destroying a team badly, and if it starts falling on Sunday, I expect Boston to cough it up.
Photo: AP/Steve C. Wilson