Lakers 89, Celtics 67: Finals Game 6 Twitter Diary

60764355Lakers – Celtics Gameday Page
After consecutive losses in Boston, the Lakers returned to STAPLES Center down 3-2 to the Celtics, looking to force a Game 7 with Tuesday’s Game 6. Mike Trudell was typing all the way through on Twitter via the @LakersReporter account to make sure you didn’t miss a thing:

Inactives
Lakers: Adam Morrison
Celtics: Tony Gaffney

Starters
Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, Artest, Gasol and Bynum
Celtics: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins

Game 6 Video Preview
Among the way-too-many statistics you might read heading into Game 6 of the NBA Finals between L.A. and Boston: the Celtics are just 1-7 in close-out road games over the last three playoff campaigns. Frank Hamblen joined us on video to discuss how L.A. can make that C’s mark go to 1-8 on Tuesday night at STAPLES.

Pregame
- If you hadn’t heard, Christina Aguilera’s singing the National Anthem tonight. We’re a few minutes away.
- You could tell that it wasn’t Christina’s first time singing in a pressure situation … T-5 min. to tip off of Game 6 now.
- “Let’s Go Lakers” chant breaking out as fans fill remaining seats. Crowd’s starting to heat up here.

60765300First Quarter
- Kobe hasn’t been to the rim in a while … but got there on L.A.’s 2nd possession to answer KG’s transition layup.
- Massive key here is how low L.A.’s bigs can establish post position. So far, it’s been good, including a Bynum turnaround.
- Standing ovation early here at STAPLES after Artest nailed a corner 3, following a 24-sec violation on Boston. Fisher’s steal and subsequent layup then made it 9-6 for L.A.
- Fun to watch, fast pace in first 3+ minutes here. Only 1 foul called, physical play encouraged with L.A. up 9-6.
- LA has gotten dribble penetration from Kobe & Fish in the early minutes, creating plenty of open looks. Only 4-of-8 FG’s though.
- So, Ray Allen likes to play in L.A., apparently. He didn’t hit 1 three in Boston, but just nailed his first attempt here.
- First sign of foul trouble comes as Fisher picks up No. 2 after getting switched onto Rondo. Shannon Brown’s in, 6:30 to go.
- Kobe has been clinical so far, making 4-of-5 shots with a steal & set up for 2 Pau FT’s and later a Pau fastbreak layup as L.A. opens an 18-12 lead.
- Ouch … Kendrick Perkins landed awkwardly on his right knee, and remains on the floor here as Boston’s trainers attend.
- Perkins’ absence means a whole lot of Rasheed Wallace, whose conditioning has been questioned by Doc Rivers.
- Wallace came into this game averaging 18 minutes a game, with a high of 22.
- Kobe’s hit 5 straight shots, including a tough 3 that has him to 11 points, & L.A. up 7 before KG’s layup.
- Gasol hasn’t had many offensive opportunities (2 FGA’s), but he’s been terrific on the glass, with 4 boards already, plus a block.
- Ron Artest is now 2-for-2 from the corner 3 spot, giving L.A. its biggest lead at 26-16. Big lift, 8 points for Artest.
- L.A. opens w/65% FG’s to go up 26-18. LA’s been great when has had to be for last 2 years, & have for 1st 10 min. tonight.
- Here’s Lamar Odom’s first appearance tonight… remember that he barely played in Games 1 & 2 due to early foul trouble.
- Another great defensive possession from L.A. caused Boston’s 3rd TO; Gasol follows w/put-back layup. 28-18 LA.
- A standing ovation for L.A. after a 1st Q that produced a 28-18 lead. Kobe was terrific on both ends, led w/11 pts.
Key stat: the Lakers outrebounded Boston 12-5 in the quarter … in fact, Gasol outrebounded them himself, 6-5.

60765104Second Quarter
- Sasha Vujacic’s first contributions felt early with a made jumper from just inside 3-point line, though Allen answered.
- Lakers are playing volleyball around the rim … though Bynum/Odom didn’t convert, we didn’t see that in Boston.
- ‘Sheed just picked up his 3rd PF, which hurts worse in Perkins’s absense. KG back in for Boston, Odom 2-for-2 FT’s, 13-pt. lead.
- Sorry, make that a 14-point lead at 34-20, before Allen’s layup gave him 12 of Boston’s 22 points.
- STAPLES on its feet again this time courtesy of a diving effort play from Farmar, which earned 2 FT’s for Kobe.
- A few notes: Kobe’s yet to rest, has 13 pts, 5 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl; Lakers crushing rebounds 19-7; Lakers lead by 13.
- Great energy: Another nice play from Farmar, bursting baseline 4 a layup, preceded a put-back layup from Gasol (7 rebounds). Gasol’s 7 are literally the same total as Boston’s, L.A. with 22 overall.
- We’ve mentioned Gasol’s 7 rebs 3 times already, but he also has a team-high 4 assists, & 7 pts on 3-of-4 FG’s, with his team up 17 points.
- Phil Jackson’s taking this opportunity to give Kobe some rest … & Vujacic’s 3, then Farmar’s big slam dunk made that easier.
- L.A.’s bench is crushing Boston’s. Farmar, Vujacic & Odom have 13 pts, 4 reb, 2 ast; C’s bench has 0 pts, 4 reb, 1 ast.
- Fans encouraged Artest to take a corner 3 after he’d hit a J on the previous trip … but he missed that one. Still w/10 pts.
- Phil Jackson rewarded Josh Powell for his constant work in practice with a few minutes in the 2nd here b4 Odom returned.
- Fisher was hit with his 3rd PF trying to strip C’s sub Shelden Williams, putting him on bench for final 1:18. Lead still at 20.

60764993Third Quarter
- @LAIreland reports Perkins is done for tonight. He’ll be re-evaluated if there’s a Game 7; Celtics not commenting further.
- There’s one thing L.A. didn’t want immediately … Derek Fisher’s 4th foul. He played only 8:52 in 1st half due to foul trouble.
- Bynum looked towards Jackson and asked to be removed … this brings Odom into the game. Trainer Gary Vitti seeing Bynum.
- Big Baby is trash talking Kobe Bryant right now. We’ll see how that one turns out.
- Always a good sign for L.A. to see Odom get going early in a half … which he did by sticking a jumper. Lead back to 20.
- Bryant went hard to the hole and finished off glass despite heavy KG contact, landed awkwardly but is up to make FT. He has 18.
- Andrew Bynum just walked out of the locker room after getting some treatment. His right knee is wrapped in ice.
- Shannon Brown just violated LAX air space with a monster one-hand alley-oop. Bedlam in crowd. Yikes.
- The play Phil Jackson ran out of the time out to get Brown that oop has worked all season long, and last year too.
- The bench scoring favors L.A. 21-0 with 3:06 left in the 3rd, L.A. up 66-49. Kobe has 20 & 8, Gasol 11, 9 & 6.
- Lakers spokesman John Black on Bynum: “Nothing new. Nothing different. Pain and swelling.”
- There’s the Gasol we saw a lot of in Games 1-2, not so much of in 3-5 … a back down, turnaround lefty hook over KG.
- Could be a benefit for LA heading into potential Game 7 if they can rest Bynum for final 14 minutes. Up 19 w/1:40 in 3rd.
- L.A.’s bench continues to put in work as Vujacic drops a corner 3 w/Rondo not getting back in transition (took elbow to face). Bench scoring up to 24-0, including 8 from Sasha (2 3′s).
- Another solid quarter from L.A. puts 5 more points on the halftime lead, which is now 76-51.
- Road philosophy for L.A. often to stay close enough to try & win it in 4th, as in Games 3-5. Tonight, it’s been all out since tip.

60764947Fourth Quarter
- Gasol very close to a triple-double, w/15 pts, 10 reb, 8 ast. Took a hard arm to the face from ‘Sheed by just walking to line.
- One benefit of keeping stars in the game a bit longer despite blowout (80-56): keeping all momentum heading into potential Game 7.
- Bryant’s one-handed rebound with 7 min. left was his 9th. Gasol was at 11, Odom 9, Artest 6, L.A. still leading the category by a 45-32 margin.
- L.A.’s O stalled in the midst of the final C’s push, but the lead’s still at 23 after Kobe cleared reb. # 10, then hit a layup.
- Rasheed Wallace is 0-for-7 tonight, including 0-for-6 from 3. He’ll likely need to play big minutes in Game 7.
- Interesting stat for a coach with 10 rings: Phil Jackson will enter a Finals Game 7 for the first time.
- Pau Gasol checked out with 2:35 left after a fantastic 17-point, 13-rebound, 9-assist, 3-block performance, with L.A. up 88-65.
- The Lakers head into Game 7 in style, blowing Boston out 89-67 with a terrific all-around performance.
- Lamar Odom (Lakers radio) said the crowd’s energy helped L.A. control the tempo, critical all night.
- Stat of the night on the glass: Lakers win board battle 52-39.
We’ll see you back soon for Thursday’s Game 7.