That was one helluva game. The Celtics struggled (to put it kindly) with their offense all night, until the second unit delivered a dynamic performance in the 4th quarter.
Glen Davis (18 points, 7-10 FG, 5 rebounds, 2 steals) and Nate Robinson (12 points) were spectacular. Tony Allen and Rasheed Wallace played stellar defense.
Credit Doc for leaving his second unit in until the 2 minute mark of the 4th. He really had no choice. The starters were anemic on offense, missing countless layups and open shots. The high-octane bench turned a two point deficit (62-60) into an 11 point lead (85-74).
I was concerned that KG, Pierce and Rondo would be flat from the extended stay on the bench. That was not the case.
Pierce (19 points, 7-12 FG) had 5 clutch points, including a 3 point play which came as the result of a block call on Kobe Bryant that could have easily been called a charge.
Rajon Rondo had a huge steal (off a Bryant pass) with 30 seconds left and the Celtics up six. Rondo took the ball in for the score essentially sealing the win.
Kobe (33 points, 10-22 FG, 7 TOs) was great in spurts. He scored in bunches in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. We even saw that silly under bite scowl. While he had 12 points (2-5 FG, 7-8 FTs) in the 4th quarter, you can't deny the effort of Tony Allen. He really made Kobe work.
Rasheed Wallace picked up his 6th technical of the playoffs. One more and he faces suspension.
The Celtics outscored the Lakers 54-34 in the paint. Andrew Bynum played 12 ineffective minutes due to his knee injury. Needless to say, his absence had a huge impact on this game.
As for the officiating, the Lakers were whistled for 23 fouls, the Celtics 21. The Lakers had 22 FTS, the Celtics had 23. This was the first game of the series where the officials didn't dominate the stage (Although I cannot let that awful 3 second call on Garnett go without saying it may have been the worst call in the history of the NBA).
"I just felt like a beast… I just couldn't be denied," – Glen Davis