What Went Right:
• The Lakers embarked on a furious fourth quarter rally, cutting what was once a 24 point deficit to just two points in the final two minutes. However, after fouling Paul Pierce on the ensuing possession, the purple and gold were unable to seal the deal.
• After being badly outrebounded by 13 in Game 1, the Lakers did a much better job on the boards in Game 2, muscling down 36 rebounds compared to 37 for the Celtics. Pau got his usual 10 boards, but it was Radmanovic who surprised on Sunday with 10 of his own.
• Kobe was still hindered by Boston’s superb defense, but he had a much better effort in Game 2 after a dismal 9-26 shooting night in Game 1, chipping in 30 points (11-23 shooting) in Game 2 to fuel L.A.’s near monumental comeback.
• Although he didn’t impact the game much after Boston’s defense closed in on him in the second quarter, Gasol’s stat line for Game 2 still shows that he had a solid night, scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
What Went Wrong:
• Little known reserve Leon Powe had the game of his life on Sunday, scoring 21 points on 6-7 shooting, including an array of momentum changing dunks that effectively put the Lakers in a seemingly insurmountable 24 point whole.
• Responding well to his knee injury, Paul Pierce broke free for 28 points to lead the Celtics, once again winning his individual matchup against Kobe. Through two games of The Finals, it’s Pierce, not Kobe who has been the more valuable player to his team.
• Boston’s Big Three once again outplayed the Lakers core trio of Bryant, Odom and Gasol, scoring 62 points, led by Pierce’s 28. Kevin Garnett provided a great secondary effort with 17 points, including a dominating 14 point rebounding night.
• L.A. did an exceptional job of taking care of the ball in Game 1, but was unable to duplicate the effort in Game 2, turning the ball away a costly 13 times.
• All the massive 38 to 10 free throw discrepancy between the two teams raised all kinds of questions regarding how this series is being called, the Lakers still need to do a better job of driving into the lane instead of settling for outside shots.
• Rondo hasn’t been much of a factor in the series as far as his own scoring goes, but he played a big hand in helping the Celtics to their big lead, dishing out a team-high 16 assists to go along with his four points.
• Although Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar sprung to life during the Lakers’ late comeback, L.A.’s bench was still outplayed by the Celtic’s group of reserves, with Boston continuing to get strong contributions out of veterans P.J. Brown and James Posey, in limited minutes no less.