What Went Right:
• While the Lakers were on the wrong end of the largest NBA Finals comeback since at least the 1970-71 season, they still deserve credit for building a 24 point lead in the first place, with the team’s offense and defense working in tandem for the first time in the series’ four games.
• Odom finally showed the tenacity the Lakers had been waiting for all series…for 24 minutes anyway. Lamar was a force to be reckoned with in the first half of the game, winding up with a team-high 19 points and 10 rebounds.
• Thanks to a dominating first half on the boards, the purple and gold came away with a rare 41-40 overall rebounding edge against Boston highlighted by 10 boards a piece for Odom and Gasol. L.A. also came away with the edge in assists, dishing out eight more than the Celtics, 23-15.
• Derek Fisher finally emerged from his Finals slump, successfully making 4-5 shots for a total of 13 points. The veteran guard was one of five Lakers starters to reach double figures in a balanced scoring effort for L.A.
What Went Wrong:
• The Lakers were outscored for the fourth consecutive third quarter against the Celtics, this time by a decisive 16 point margin that cut what was an 18 point halftime lead for L.A. down to two entering the fourth quarter.
• Although Pierce’s 20 points led Boston in scoring, it was Ray Allen’s 19 that set the tone for the Celtics as the guard followed up his strong effort in Game 3 with a slow, but steady attack against L.A. in Game 4. Moreover, it was Allen’s layup with under two minutes to go that effectively iced the game for the green and white.
• After scoring 58 points in the first half and finally showing signs of coming to life, the Lakers’ offense went completely dry in the second half, with the team only managing to put 33 points on the board.
• Kobe resorted back to poor shooting ways against the Celtics, following up a strong Game 3 effort with a forgettable 17 points on 6-19 shooting from the floor.
• As has been the case for much of the series, the Boston bench badly outplayed the Lakers reserves, putting up 35 points to L.A.’s 15. James Posey in particular came through with an enormous 18 points, joined by 11 timely points from Eddie House.