The Finals Game 5: In-Game

Inactives For Tonight’s Game:
Celtics: Kendrick Perkins, Game Pruitt, Scot Pollard
Lakers: Andrew Bynum, Coby Karl, DJ Mbenga

1st Quarter:
11:28 Gasol puts the Lakers on the board first, making an aggressive move toward the basket before throwing up a soft hook shot over Garnett that hits nothing but net. Although Pau finished with 17 points in Game 4, there’s been few instances where he’s looked as confident in his post-up game as he just did on that opening play.

9:05 Fisher continues the hot start for the Lakers, nailing the team’s second three pointer of the game to give L.A. an 8-2 lead. So far, the purple and gold are shooting 4-7 from the field. It’s only been three minutes, but once again, the Lakers’ offense looks in sync the same way it did during the first quarter of Game 4.

7:01 Without Kendrick Perkins’ bog body clogging up the lane for Boston, Gasol is having his way down low against the much smaller Powe. After missing his first attempt, the center just grabbed the offensive rebound and tipped in a shot right at the basket while also drawing a foul on Leon. Pau is tied for team high in scoring with five early points.

6:36 Boston is forced to call timeout with a boisterous STAPLES Center crowd rising to their feet in appreciation of the Lakers’ 18-5 lead. Kobe just nailed his second trey of the game and is shooting 3-6 overall from the field. Halfway through the first quarter, Game 5 is almost a mirror image of L.A.’s fast start in Game 4.

4:55 Kobe’s in the zone early, connecting on yet another three pointer to bump the Lakers’ lead to 13 at 24-11. Bryant leads L.A. in scoring with 14 points and is setting the tone for the entire team.

3:08 Fisher makes a rare drive to the hoop, going up right into the teeth of the Celetic’s defense for a gritty layup off glass that extends the Lakers’ lead to 14 at 29-15. Derek has five points on the night for third best on the team.

2:04 Boston’s forced to call another timeout after a coast-to-coast layup by Lamar Odom increases the Lakers’ lead to a game high 16. All five Lakers starters have reached double figures in scoring after each starter reached double digits in scoring in Game 4. Through 10 minutes of quarter one, the Lakers are shooting an impressive 63% from the floor, while the Celtics have only made 37% of their shots.

Walton, Vujacic and Farmar all check into the game for the first time.

2nd Quarter:
12:00 Odom returns to the lineup along with Chris Mihm, who’s probably just as surprised as the rest of the arena to being seeing his first action of The Finals.

11:07 After the starters built the Lakers’ 17 point lead, it looks like the reserves came to play tonight as well with Sasha nailing an outside jumper one play after Farmar drove all the way to the rim for a layup. After the two scores, the lead is up to a game high 19 points at 43-24.

10:29 Ariza comes into the game to a nice round of applause from the STAPLES Center crowd.

9:14 Jackson is forced to call a quick timeout after eight straight points by the Celtics has cut the lead to 11 points in a game that continues to look a lot like the story line for Game 4. So far, the Lakers are being outscored 10-4 in the second quarter. Feeling the shift in momentum, Kobe and Turiaf check into the game following the timeout.

7:50 With the lead down under single digits at 43-34, Fisher and Gaosl both return to the floor.

7:37 Garnett just picked up a costly third personal foul, grabbing Gasol on his way up for an eight foot jumper. Hopefully, KG’s exit will correspond with a change in momentum for the Lakers. Two missed free throws wont help the purple and gold’s cause though.

5:44 Deja vu for L.A. as Pierce’s three cuts what was once a 19 point lead down to just four heading into a much-needed timeout. The scoring difference in the second quarter continues to grow in favor of Boston as the Celtics have now score 17 of the first 21 points. Moreover, their field goal percentage has risen from the high 30′s at the end of the first quarter to 50% with more than half of the second quarter gone by.

4:10 Odom scores the first Lakers field goal since Sasha made a 22 footer with 11:08 left in the second quarter. Since that time, the Lakers have given up 13 points off their 19 point lead to take a slim 45-39 advantage over the Celtics.

3:10 Suddenly, Lamar is the most involved Laker on offense over the past two minutes, making his third shot in a row and drawing the foul too. After the make from the charity stripe, the Lakers’s lead is up to eight again. Odom has nine points and six rebounds on the night on 4-5 shooting from the floor.

Farmar enters the game, replacing an unproductive Radmanovic.

27.7 Sasha’s into the game for the final 28 seconds of the first half with L.A. up 55-49.

HALFTIME
For the second game in a row, the Lakers came out firing out of the gates, building a 19 point lead, but gave back all of three points of it heading into halftime at 55-52. Kobe had his best offensive start of the series, scoring 15 first quarter points, but failing to score in a second quarter that saw the the Lakers outscored by a 30-16 margin. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom each came through with solid first halves, scoring nine and 11 respectively. While Garnett was saddled with foul trouble all half, Paul Pierce came through with a game-high 21 points on 7-12 shooting from the floor.

3rd Quarter:
9:26 After the Celtics took the lead 68-67, Kobe comes through with with a much-needed two and one to recapture the lead for L.A. Bryant has 18 points to lead the purple and gold in scoring.

7:16 Gasol toys with the Celtics defenders, making an aggressive move against Garnett and Brown, in the process drawing a foul on P.J. After the made free throw, the Lakers’ lead is back to three at 65-62.

6:21 Jackson immediately calls a timeout after the Lakers allow Pierce to drive all the way to the hole for an easy layup that brings the Celtics back within one of L.A. Through six minutes of the third quarter, the crowd hasn’t been much of a factor, with most fans nervously sitting in their seats. The Boston forward now has a game-high 24 points on a solid 8-16 shooting from the field.

Toward the end of the timeout, the crowd suddenly awoke from a long sleep, rising to their feet as one to embark on the loudest, “LET’S GO LAKERS” chant of the night. Hopefully, they can keep it up as it looks like this one could be headed down to the wire.

5:17 A gritty fallaway jumper and one by Fisher gives the Lakers a 68-64 lead and sends everyone to their feet again. One play later, Derek passed up a three pointer, instead dishing it Radmanovic who makes good on a trey of his own to give the purple and gold a little breathing room at 71-64.

3:22 It’s getting a little chippy out there toward the close of the third quarter as the significance of tonight’s game begins to set in for both teams. After a Fisher free throw, the Lakers lead stands at six at 74-68. As a team, L.A. is shooting 11-15 from the charity stripe compared to 12-16 for Boston.

53.8 Walton replaces Kobe who goes out for what should be a quick rest.

46.0 After missing a series of wide-open jumpers, Odom finally comes through for the Lakers, using his superior length to lay the ball in over the outstretched Celtics’ defenders. With the make, Lamar’s totals on the game are up to 15 points and nine rebounds.

4th Quarter:
11:04 Odom sends the crowd into a frenzy, nailing a rare three pointer to put the Lakers up by double figures once again, 84-72. On the previous play, Farmar continued his strong Game 5 effort, driving all the way to the hoop for a layup that gives him nine points on the night in just 11 minutes of play. Meanwhile, Lamar’s tied Kobe for the team lead in scoring with 18 to go along with nine rebounds.

Gasol returns for the Lakers out of the timeout.

9:17 Gasol looks like a man possessed, grabbing another rebound for his team-leading tenth board. After a great outlet pass for a mini fast break, Walton capitalizes by making a soft floater that dances around the rim a bit before falling in for an 88-74 lead.

7:43 Posey just put his best defensive foot forth against Bryant, but the MVP was still able to create enough space to launch a twenty footer from the top of the key that puts the Lakers up 90-79 after a 5-0 run by the Celtics. With the make, #24′s totals on the night are up to 20 on 7-17 shooting from the field.

6:22 The Lakers are in the penalty after Walton picked up his fifth personal on Pierce. Odom and Fisher both return for the stretch run for the Lakers after two makes form the Boston forward.

4:35 Once again, the Lakers have blown a double-digit lead, with a make from just inside the free throw line by KG tying the score at 90. Pau just muscled his way down low against the Celtics forward on the ensuing Lakers possession though to give L.A. a two point lead again.

3:31 Fouls are becoming an issue for the Celtics after Garnett and Pierce picked up consecutive fouls to put them each at five. Boston is also out of fouls from here on out as L.A. leads by a tenuous one point at 92-91.

2:31 After Pau missed a solid attempt at a hook shot inside, he was called for a foul against Garnett, sending the forward to the opposite end of the court for two freebies. After missing both, the Lakers lead remains at 95-93.

1:14 Odom’s called for a loose ball foul after Kobe missed a jumper and then a long three pointer that would have extended the Lakers’ lead to seven. After two makes by Pierce, the Lakers are up by two, 97-95, with just over a minute remaining.

37.4 The Lakers steal the ball sending Kobe off for a breakaway dunk that sends the STAPLES Center crowd into pandemonium as the purple and gold have a four point lead with under a minute to go.

26.8 L.A. gets the biggest stop of the season, preventing Garnett’s attempt from falling in and successfully nabbing the offense board to give the Lakers possession of the ball with 27 seconds remaining and a 99-95 lead.

16.8 Not in our house. After one of two free throw makes by Kobe to extend the Lakers’ lead to six with just over 15 seconds to go, it looks like the Celtics will have to win their coveted seventeenth championship back in Boston.

09.0 After nearly bobbling away the inbounds pass, Fisher comes through with two clutch free throws to give L.A. a five point lead at 103-98.

FINAL SCORE: Celtics 98, Lakers 103