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Boston Celtics 108 LA Lakers 102 : The Boston Celtics held on after having a big lead to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers and take a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals. The Celtics were up by 24 points in the 4th quarter before the Lakers went on a 31-9 run to cut the lead to two with just 38 seconds left. The Celtics were able to secure the victory but you have to wonder if the Lakers gained any momentum after their big 4th quarter.
Overall, this was one of the Celtics best performances offensively as they shot 52.9% from the field, including 9 of 14 from three. Once again, Paul Pierce led the way for the Celtics, showing no signs that his sprained knee was bothering him. Pierce scored a team high 28 points, dished out 8 assists, and grabbed 4 rebounds. Paul Pierce has been great in the first two games and he could be cementing his legacy right in front of our eyes at this point. If he keeps up his good play, then he could be looking at an NBA Finals MVP.
Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen helped out Pierce by each scoring 17 points. Garnett didn't shoot the ball particularly well going 7 of 19 from the floor but he did pull down 14 rebounds. Ray Allen continues to shoot the ball well nailing 6 of his 11 shot attempts, including 3 of 6 from downtown. When Ray Allen shoots the ball the way he has been the past 4 games, that is when the Celtics are truly a tough team to beat.
However, the keys to this game were Leon Powe and the free throw disparity for the Celtics. Powe who played only 9 minutes in Game 1, made the most of his 15 minutes in Game 2 scoring 21 points on 6 of 7 from the floor and 9 of 13 from the free throw line. Definitely a huge game from Powe off the bench as he shot more free throws then the entire Lakers teams.
Yup, the free throw disparity in this game was huge as the Celtics shot 38 free throws, while the Lakers shot only 10. It's really tough to win a road game when you shoot only 10 free throws and that was basically the difference in this game. I'm sure the Lakers feel like they got screwed in this one but I'm sure they will get a lot more calls once they are back home. Surprisingly, the rebounding battle, which was one of the key factors from Game 1,was pretty even at 37-36 in favor of the Celtics.
The Lakers offense looked great in the 4th quarter as they scored 41 points to lead their furious comeback. Kobe Bryant led the way for the Lakers scoring 30 points and dishing out 8 assists. Kobe shot the ball a lot better in Game 2 then Game 1, finishing 11 of 23 from the floor. Pau Gasol was the only other Laker to have a big game offensively finishing with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists. The rest of the role players and bench all chipped to help the scoring load but the offense didn't really play well until the 4th quarter.
This series now heads back to LA with the Celtics leading 2-0. I think the Celtics really need to win these first two games since the next three are all in LA. Now the Celtics really only have to win 1 game in LA to stay in control of the series. The Lakers haven't looked that great so far in the first two games but I expect them to play much better at home and I'm sure they will get their fair share of foul calls going their way as well. I think it would be tough for the Lakers to win all 3 games but it is certainly possible. I'm sure the Celtics would love to take 2 of 3 from the Lakers in LA but that is going to be a tough task.
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