Inactives for tonight:
Lakers – Chris Mihm, Coby Karl
Celtics – Rajon Rondo
Lakers legend Jerry West just got a rousing standing ovation at center court from an early-arriving, yellow T-shirt clad STAPLES Center crowd. The fans have been on their feet for the majority of the pre-game warm-ups…everything in the arena screams of a playoff level crowd.
12:00 STAPLES Center just went nuts as the Lakers players shocked fans by showing up in their old school 1980′s uniforms…yes…complete with the infamous short shorts.
9:43 Kobe just put on a one-man defensive show, first denying Tony Allen position before swatting away Kevin Garnett’s shot in the lane. The Celtics lead 6-2 though as it looks like the Lakers have come out perhaps a little bit over-excited. In other news, STAPLES is still cheering about the short shorts, yelling loudly after a close-up on Derek Fisher’s attire on the jumbotron.
7:31 Phil Jackson just called a timeout and he obviously is not pleased with the team’s sluggish start with the Lakers trailing 11-5 and looking completely out of sync on offense. Kobe’s missed both of his field goal attempts and Bynum has yet to see any touches down low. STAPLES Center is quiet again…for the time being.
6:02 Andrew finally gets on the board for the Lakers, snatching a bad Lamar floater and putting it back in. The Lakers need to feed the ball into #17 down low as it doesn’t look like much is falling from outside so far.
4:59 Trevor Ariza and KG are getting into after Ray Allen’s layup, resulting in a double technical for both players. Sasha checks into the game for L.A.
3:39 Things are finally heating up a little for the Lakers after a cold start from the field as Lamar and Fish make back-to-back baskets to bring the Lakers to within four of the Celtics at 22-18.
2:54 Tempers are flaring early as Perkins just got T’ed up.
2:47 Farmar checks in for L.A.
1:08 Another technical’s been called, this time on Kobe following his second personal foul.
0.00 Nice block by Turiaf to close out an otherwise dismal quarter for the Lakers. Hopefully that can inject the team with some much-needed momentum going into the second quarter.
Kwame Brown and Ariza are in to start the second quarter.
11:23 Crittenton is also seeing some unexpected minutes as he enters the game.
10:44 The second unit already seems to be running the triangle much more fluidly than the first unit as Trevor just got a nice in-rhythm basket from about three feet out.
9:33 Ariza does it on D too, diving to the ground to pick up the loose ball before launching a pass to Jordan for a dunk that gets the crowd back into the game. The Lakers still trail by 10 though at 38-28.
7:17 Kobe returns for the Lakers.
6:00 Finally something falls for the Lakers as Lamar hits a three after air-balling his last shot badly and drawing boos from the majority of the crowd. Odom is shooting only 30% on the night and has missed several easy shots around the basket. He has pulled down six rebounds though.
5:35 Yet another technical foul’s been called, this time on Boston Coach Doc Rivers.
4:46 Bynum returns to the floor after a lengthy stint on the bench.
3:20 The Lakers are suddenly playing with a greater sense of urgency, climbing to within nine of the Celtics with Bynum set to shoot 2 free throws after the official’s timeout. The team is shooting only 33% from the field so far compared to Boston’s 46. The Lakers are on an 8-0 run.
1:25 Bynum surprises just about everyone in the arena by making a 10 footer that brings the Lakers to within five of the Celtics after the team missed on a series of opportunities to cut into a seven point Boston lead.
HALFTIME: Derek Fisher hit a three pointer at the halftime buzzer to bring the Lakers back to within eight of the Celtics after a late Boston run stymied some of the Lakers’ momentum in the latter half of the second quarter. The Lakers should feel fortunate to be down by only eight after the first 24 minutes as the team shot an abysmal 32% from the field and missed several easy shots underneath the basket.
Only one third of Boston’s Big Three went off in the first half as Pail Pierce led the Celtics with 16 points, followed by Tony Allen’s 13. Kobe led the Lakers with 16 points of his own, but shot an uncharacteristic 3-15 from the field. In the second half, the Lakers need to establish their inside game and dump the ball into Bynum early and often as the team settled for way too many outside shots in the first frame. Foul trouble could be an issue for both teams though as Kobe and Andrew both have three fouls apiece for the Lakers and Ray/Tony Allen also have three for Boston.
12:00 Looks like the Lakers have ditched the short shorts to open up the half.
8:37 Kobe finally makes a two over two outstretched Boston defenders to bring the Lakers to within 10 of the Celtics after an up-and-down start to the third quarter. The Lakers need someone to inject the team with some energy before the Celtics increase their lead to double digits again.
7:16 Odom takes KG off the dribble and makes his second driving basket in a row to bring the Lakers back within single digits of the Celtics at 65-56.
6:00 Kwame’s called for a technical after arguing a foul call on KG.
5:09 Big three from Luke as the Lakers let Boston push the lead to 12 points following a Garnett layup. The Lakers keep climbing to within six or seven points of the Celtics, but can’t seem to sustain the momentum long enough to make that one big shot that propels them to within three of four points of the C’s.
3:17 Derek Fisher’s three brings the Lakers to the aforementioned six points down with a little over three minutes to go in the third period. Let’s see if the Lakers can finally capitalize and put some pressure on Boston and really get STAPLES Center rocking again.
1:30 Almost half the crowd is on their feet to dispute an extremely questionable blocking foul on Kwame that send Pierce to the line for two with a chance to push the Celtics’ lead to 11.
Horrible end to the third quarter for the Lakers that draws boos from some fans. After showing signs of life, the Lakers seemed lifeless to close out the quarter, allowing Boston to increase their lead to 16.
9:56 Nothing’s going down for the Lakers in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter either as Boston’s bumped its lead to a game-high 22 points at 90-68. Kobe is shooting a lowly five of 22 from the field. The team is shooting just 35% as a whole.
9:36 Bynum just fouled out of the game, but was virtually non-existent even when he was on the floor.
7:33 A rarity for the Lakers tonight–points on consecutive trips down the floor–the latter at the hands of Ronny Turiaf. The Lakers still trail by 20 points though as Boston increased its lead to 25 points before Ronny’s basket.
6:07 Ronny does it again, making a layup and one after a perfect pass from Kobe. Unfortunately, it may be too little too late for the Lakers.
5:27 Fans–who no doubt paid hundreds of dollars to see this game in person–are leaving in droves during the timeout after another Boston make knocks the lead up to 20 again.
2:57 Things are getting testy down by the Lakers bench after Odom was called for a flagrant foul and Ray Allen was given a T. The final score may not indicate a rivalry reborn, but the fire shown by both teams from the outset certainly does.
2:22 It’s like men versus boys out there after KG easily swats away Farmar’s shot. Garnett just headed to the bench and received a rather boisterous ovation from the numerous Celtics fans who showed up to root on their team.
FINAL SCORE Celtics 110, Lakers 91