The Lakers were tied with the Celtics for sixty-two seconds and trailed for the other 46:58 (by as much as 22 at one point).
LA trailed by 18 at the half and wasn’t able to put together a run that would cut the deficit to less than nine in the second half. With 5:02 left in the game Celtics Guard Ray Allen, a career 88% free throw shooter, missed two from the stripe and allowed the Lakers to cut the lead to nine after a Jordan Farmar three pointer.
“We got in down to nine with just under three minutes left. Yeah, we were in the game then. But we still didn’t have the momentum that I would like to see,” Phil Jackson said. “But that was probably the only time between the beginning of the first six minutes and the end of the game that we felt like we were in the game.”
Jackson also cited poor defense and an inability to execute the offense as reasons for the loss. The Lakers shot poorly the majority of the game, but had many easy chances around the basket that they couldn’t capitalize on.
Kobe Bryant led the way with 28-points, but only shot 43% from the floor. Vladimir Radmanovic logged his fifth consecutive double digit scoring effort, scoring 18-points on 7-12 shooting. Vladi remained hot from three-point land, making 3 of 6 and upping his season season average to 52% (24/46) from deep.
Lamar Odom struggled for the second consecutive game, scoring only four points on two of seven shooting. Lamar has only made one of his fourteen shots from behind the arc this season.
The Celtics big three of Pierce, Allen, & Garnett combined for 59-points, but it was Center Kendrick Perkins who killed the Lakers tonight. Perkins averages less than seven points a game, but matched that total in the first quarter, and finished with a season high 21 and was a plus-30.
Center Andrew Bynum was in foul trouble throughout much of the game, only playing 26 minutes. Chris Mihm logged 14 minutes, but was largely ineffective. Kwame Brown, who was injured last Sunday against the Bulls, continues to be missed on the defensive end.
The Lakers will spend the night in Boston tonight and use Saturday as a travel day before meeting the New Jersey Nets on Sunday night at STAPLES Center. They’ll have to wait till December 30th to get revenge on the Celtics.