Down by as many as 24 points, the Lakers stormed back against the Celtics in the final minutes of the game, nearly completing an epic comeback for the ages before losing 108-102. After the game, Phil Jackson called into question the massive 38 to 10 free throw disparity between the two teams.
“I’m more struck at the fact that Leon Powe gets more foul shots than our whole team does in 14 minutes of play,” said Jackson. “That’s ridiculous. You can’t play from a deficit like that that we had in that half, 19 to 2 in the first half in situations like that. I’ve never seen a game like that in all these years I’ve coached in The Finals. Unbelievable.”
While, according to Jackson, Powe may have been the beneficiary of a few favorable calls, the forward was still the story of Game 2, scoring 21 points on 6-7 shooting from the field to ignite the Celtic’s bench.
“He played a great game,” said Kobe, who scored 30 points on 11-23 shooting to lead L.A. “I mean, he came in and did what he had to do. I mean, that’s been the mark of this team all year, and in the playoffs when PJ Brown steps in, gives big minutes, Powe comes in, gives big minutes, that’s been the mark of their team. We’ve got to do a better job focusing on personnel, and guys that come into the game trying to contribute, we have to keep them quiet.”
With the Lakers looking to extend the momentum of their near comeback in Game 3, Boston Coach Doc Rivers downplayed the significance of his team’s 2-0 series lead.
“Well, it means we’re up 2‑0, and now we have to go on the road,” said Rivers. “We’ve played well of late on the road, so that gives us confidence. We’ve got to play through the game for 48 minutes and I didn’t think we did that. I thought we got cute when we got the lead. We started trying to make sensational plays instead of keeping it simple, and when you play a team like that, that has the arsenal, they made a lot of shots. But you allowed them to get comfortable, and we had a chance not to allow them to get comfortable and we did.”
For Jackson, he hopes the Lakers will take advantage of playing the next three games on their home floor beginning Tuesday.
“Just one of those playoff things,” said Jackson of Boston’s domination in the first two games of The Finals. “Home‑court advantage, they held serve, and we go home and do what we have to do on our home court. That’s what it’s about.”