I know the Lakers won the game 103-98; I watched the whole thing, but I can’t help but note that Boston essentially played harder and with more intensity for the final three quarters (after L.A. scored 39 points int he first quarter to put them down 17.) Paul Pierce had 38 in the game compared to Kobe’s 25 (most of which came in the 1st quarter), and it was highly frustrating to watch the games from both Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol, who put up decent statistical numbers, but again tailed off, as if going to the rim was not the idea they had in mind.
It wasn’t a particularly convincing win, and infuriating in the sense that even with Kevin Garnett in foul trouble for most of the game, the Lakers still wouldn’t take it to him to try and get him out of the game in the second half. It was even more difficult to watch the defensive lapses and idiocy on the L.A. side of the ball. Despite the high score, it felt like a Celtics style of game the rest of the way, but the Lakers made enough plays in the final few minutes to survive and be able to go back to Boston, in an ugly game.
I don’t have any more confidence in the Lakers being able to win a Game 6 in the TD Banknorth Garden, or whatever else their arena is called. There’s no reason to. Even when the Lakers started to get out to leads of double digits, it was like, “We’ve seen this before.” And we saw a win like this in Game 3, but it will make no difference in the end. I haven’t seen anything to believe otherwise.
Photo: AP/Kevork Djansezian