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Celtics Lose in the Last Second Yet Again

Kobe Bryant hits the game winning shot to doom the Celtics to another loss. (nba.com)

Once again, the Celtics got a lead and once again they failed to maintain it on the last possession of the game, falling to the hated rival Lakers 90-89. Led by Rajon Rondo, who had a double-double in the first half alone, the Celtics had a chance to put the game away but handed the ball right back to the Lakers. L.A. gave the ball to Kobe Bryant, who gave Phil Jackson a share of the Lakers record with Pat Riley for most wins as a Lakers head coach, with 533.

1st Quarter: Lakers Jumpstart

You could tell how physical things would get when Paul Pierce got into it with Ron Artest before the jump ball even started the game. Just 16 seconds in, Paul Pierce committed a foul, then Perkins committed another foul before the inbound pass. The troubles only continued for the Celtics, as Garnett stole a pass only to have it stolen back; he later turned the ball over with another bad pass, and Tony Allen bobbled the ball out of bounds. Wallace got into it with Pau Gasol, resulting in a double technical. All in all, the Celtics were down by as much as 13, and trailed 30-19 after the quarter, and had seven turnovers to go with 0/4 on three-point shooting (three of them Ray Allen’s).

2nd Quarter: Celtics Get Payback

The 2nd quarter belonged to the Celtics. They came absolutely surging back, tied it at 40 on a Perkins dunk, and then took the lead on a Pierce three. A 15-0 run ended up putting the Celtics up 49-40. After trailing by 13 in the 1st quarter, the Celtics led by 10 in the 2nd. The Lakers tried to turn things around, but were outscored 33-17 in the 2nd quarter, and the Celtics found themselves leading 52-47 at halftime.

3rd Quarter: Jockeying For Position

This was where things got close. The Lakers came back right in the game, tying things at 58. It was close for a while, then the Celtics retook control. After re-opening a nine-point lead, the Lakers cut the score to 73-66 at the end of the 3rd. Need I remind you, the Celtics led Orlando by 11 at this point last Thursday, and managed to screw that up completely.

4th Quarter: The Empire Strikes Back

With the score 81-72 Celtics in the middle of the quarter, Ray Allen lost the ball on a bad pass after making a diving save, and Davis just threw the ball out of bounds on the next possession. More of the same let the Lakers back in the game, again. With time winding down and leading 89-88, Paul Pierce shoved Ron Artest out of the way for an offensive foul. Kobe Bryant, who was apparently named after a brand of Japanese beef, was given the ball and made a difficult jump shot to give L.A. the lead, 90-89, with 7.3 seconds left. On the last play of the game, Ray Allen missed an awkward three to give the Celtics their third tough loss in a row.

C’s Stud of the Game: Rajon Rondo

He got a double-double in the 1st half alone, and led the Celtics with 21 points and 12 assists. If it weren’t for Rondo, the Celtics would have failed even more miserably.

C’s Dud of the Game: Ray Allen

Isn’t this guy supposed to be good? Going 0/6 on threes, and finishing with just seven points seems like a huge departure from what Allen should do.

That’s What He Said:

“Give me good offense over good defense any day of the week.” – The ABC game announcers after Bryant scored the game winner despite Ray Allen’s perfect defense.

Game Notes:

  • Scoring Leaders: Rajon Rondo (BOS 21), Andrew Bynum (LAL 19), Kobe Bryant (LAL 19)
  • Field Goal Leaders: Rajon Rondo (BOS 9/16), Kobe Bryant (LAL 8/20), Andrew Bynum (LAL 7/13)
  • Three Point Leaders: Paul Pierce (BOS 3/7), Eddie House (BOS 2/4), five others with one
  • Free Throw Leaders: Andrew Bynum (LAL 5/7), Paul Pierce (BOS 4/4), three others with three
  • Rebound Leaders: Andrew Bynum (LAL 11), Pau Gasol (LAL 11), Kendrick Perkins (BOS 10)
  • Assist Leaders: Rajon Rondo (BOS 12), Kobe Bryant (LAL 6), Rasheed Wallace (BOS 4)
  • Steal Leaders: Ron Artest (LAL 3), four others with two
  • Block Leaders: Lamar Odom (LAL 3), Andrew Bynum (LAL 2), three others with one
  • Turnovers: BOS 18, LAL 16
  • Foul-outs: none
  • Technical Fouls: Rasheed Wallace (BOS) and Pau Gasol (LAL), 3:25 left in 1st

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