Jay is covering a scintillating Springfield Armor game tonight, so I have the honor of writing a quick game recap while at work. Surely, Jay will have much more analysis to come Friday morning
It was too good to be true. Rajon Rondo passed to a trailing Ray Allen on the fast break, and Allen sunk the 2,561st of his NBA career, breaking the record long held by Reggie Miller and putting the Celtics ahead by eight with 1:47 to go in the first quarter.
The fans at the TD Garden gave Allen two standing ovations–one when he made the three, and another at the end of the quarter. Allen shared a hug with Reggie Miller, his mother, and his wife during a prolonged celebration.
Boston rode the emotion of the moment to a 15-point lead with 3:31 left in the first half. Los Angeles closed the gap to eight points by halftime, but the Celtics played a good first half and Kobe Bryant had scored just three points.
Naturally, the Celtics came out flat to start the second half, Bryant busted out for 12 third-quarter points, and the Lakers outscored the Celtics 27-15 in the third quarter.
The Lakers sagged off Rondo like they always do, and the Celtics struggled to find offense once again. The game was eerily similar to Game 7: Boston jumped out to an early lead before stagnant offense, poor rebounding, and fatigue caught up with them.
Los Angeles exposed Boston’s thin frontcourt, outrebounding the Celtics 47-36. Lamar Odom was especially annoying on the offensive boards, pulling down 6 by himself. Pao Gasol played well also, scoring 20 points and snagging 10 rebounds. Andrew Bynum enjoyed the absence of Shaquille O’Neal and Semih Erden as well, posting 16 points and nine rebounds.
All five Celtics startes scored in double-figures, but Kendrick Perkins (4-6) was the only one to shoot above 50%. Allen led the team with 20 points, while Rondo netted another double-double (12 points, 10 assists).
Nate Robinson injured his knee in the second quarter and did not return to the game. With Robinson out, along with all the other injuries, Boston relied on a seven-man rotation in the second half and the Celtics wore down late in the game.
Much more to come tomorrow, so be sure to check back!