Lakers 83, Celtics 79: Game 7 Twitter Diary

60786658Lakers – Celtics Gameday Page
Lakers, Celtics. Game 7. How ’bout it? Mike Trudell was typing all the way through on Twitter via the @LakersReporter account to make sure you didn’t miss a thing:

Lakers: Adam Morrison
Celtics: Kendrick Perkins (knee)

Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, Artest, Gasol and Bynum
Celtics: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace*
*Starting in the absence of Kendrick Perkins, out with a knee injury suffered early in Game 6.

Phil Jackson Pregame Thoughts
Always interesting to hear from a man with 10 NBA coaching rings before a monumental Game 7.
Among his key points:
- Jackson said he was “keyed up” for the game, but kept an even expression on his face. More importantly, he explained that he sensed an outward energy from his players that impressed him (“amped up”). Whether or not that helps his team execute, he wasn’t sure.
- Phil said the Lakers are planning on getting about 10 minutes per half from Andrew Bynum.
- The most interesting of C’s coach Doc Rivers’s comments was that Rasheed Wallace would start in place of Kendrick Perkins, mostly due to the defensive matchup on Bynum, but also because Boston hopes to spread the floor for Rajon Rondo on offense.

Pregame Notes
- Phil has taught his team to “problem solve,” as Kobe said, & to “stay in the moment,” from Fish. What better chance than Game 7?
- Fantastic pregame video on the giant white screens has crowd in a frenzy, then a massive cheer especially for Kobe.
- Only in the Finals do the players get 3 min. to re-warm up after intros. I watched Kobe … only took 6 shots, made ‘em all.
- Mychal Thompson quoting John Wooden on Lakers radio: “Winning takes talent. To repeat takes character.”
- And Magic, of course. RT @AndrewSiciliano: West, Kareem, Walton, Russell are all in the house tonight….
- Lakers PA legend Lawrence Tanter: “Ladies and gentlemen … this is Game 7.”

60786542First Quarter
- Lakers went right to Bynum, Wallace defending, & got a great look that rimmed out. Gasol straight to glass, tip missed but L.A. ball.
- Fisher makes L.A.’s first good defensive play, stripping the ball (off Rondo’s leg) … then buried a 3 off Gasol’s 2nd off. reb.
- Great sign for L.A.: Gasol already has 5 OFFENSIVE rebounds. In 3 minutes. Just overwhelming C’s inside.
- The Lakers are pounding the ball inside, going to Bynum/Gasol exclusively aside from that Fisher 3, & lead 7-6 early.
- We’re redefining “Let ‘em play” in the opening minutes … it’s Game 7, after all.
- Though Gasol’s been great on the glass, he’s rushing on offense (1-for-5) & got moved out of paint by KG for Rondo layup (but on the next possession, he executed a glorious post move around Garnett for a made turnaround).
- Wallace is channeling his 2004 self right now, already w/2 blocks, 2 rebounds & 2 buckets. His problem has been conditioning.
- The Lakers are shooting only 22% (ridiculous 4-for-19) but have 9 offensive boards. Boston’s 5-for-10, up 10-9.
- Boston ran a play to get Allen a corner 3 thanks to KG’s screen that Fisher couldn’t get around. 13-11 C’s.
- Kobe finally saw one of his shots go through, a baseline alley-oop layup from Gasol after opening 0-for-4, but Big Baby answered.
- After an intently physical 8 minutes, the Lakers are shooting a horrid 27% (6-of-22), Odom’s in for Bynum off bench.
- Tough break for L.A.: Pierce just stepped in front of Gasol from the side to draw Gasol’s 2nd foul, then PP hit a J. C’s up 19-14.
- Garnett matched Gasol’s offensive foul with one of his own, setting a moving pick on Odom. He goes to bench as well.
- The Celtics closed the 1st Q on a 10-1 run to take a 23-14 lead into the 2nd Q. Lakers rushed on offense, shot 6-for-27 (22%).
The Lakers were, in a word, “tight” in the first quarter, but fortunately had three more quarters to make up for it.

60786549Second Quarter
- It’ll be Farmar, Vujacic, Kobe, Odom & Bynum to start the 2nd against Rondo, T. Allen, R. Allen, Baby & ‘Sheed.
- Fans seemed to need that Bryant pull-up J after up-faking T. Allen. But L.A.’s only 2-for-6 at line after 1-of-2 from Odom. 6-pt. game.
- Artest’s put-back layup, after fighting off Pierce, cut Boston’s lead to 4. 5-0 run to open 2nd has crowd back into the game.
- Artest’s offensive board was the 11th already for L.A. Their high for the series was 16 in Game 5. Gasol has 5, Kobe 3.
- Artest and Vujacic both missed wide, wide open 3′s that would have cut Boston’s lead to 1. Kobe/Pau back in, 9:23 in 2nd.
- It’s now a 9-0 LA run to tie the score, thanks to Artest’s steal and layup. Crowd fully back into it as Odom raises both arms.
- Jack Nicholson was like Kobe when Matt Barnes pretended to throw a ball in his face w/KG diving into crowd.
- Yet another Artest offensive board put LA in front, capping an 11-0 run, before Rondo’s transition hoop stopped the bleeding.
- Lakers have a 9-0 edge in second-chance points thus far; teams a combined 2-for-15 from 3; Boston 6 TO’s to L.A.’s 3.
- Kobe continues to struggle from the field (only 2-for-10), but is working hard. He has 7 rebounds, & just got KG his 3rd PF.
- Artest’s first 3 after 3 misses has the crowd on its feet, tying the game at 29 with 4 min left in 2nd. Ron has 9 pts to lead L.A.
- Very, very odd that Bryant would be 2-for-11, Gasol 3-for-12 and Bynum 1-for-5 but L.A. would down by only 2.
- Boston hasn’t had L.A.’s trouble at the FT line, making all 6 attempts, to L.A.’s 3-for-8, but Kobe’s smooth J cuts lead to 2.
- A quick 5-0 run from the C’s, capped by Pierce’s 3, opened a bit of space at 38-31; Artest’s 2 FT’s then made it 38-33 C’s.
- Where would LA be without Ron Artest in the first half? He leads the Lakers with 12 points, all in the 2nd Q, after 1 more FT.
- L.A. outscored Boston 20-17 in the 2nd to cut the C’s halftime lead to 6 at 40-34. Kobe/Pau 6-for-26 from field.
- LA D was solid in the 2nd Q, but 3 fouls on the perimeter w/Boston in bonus, not 1 a shooting foul, gave C’s 6 late pts.

60786551Third Quarter
- Kobe just concluded a discussion at midcourt with ref Scott Foster before finishing warm ups.
- Nice set play from Boston to open the half, an alley-oop layup from Rondo to Garnett, was answered by Artest’s driving layup.
- Lakers offense still out of sorts in 3rd as Kobe launches a deep 3 and misses, while KG came back with an and-1 to make it 45-36.
- Crowd’s trying to get the Lakers back into it with an impromptu standing O out of a time out. Team looks to need it.
- Boston’s lead reached 13 on Rondo’s put-back layup before Kobe’s 1-of-2 FT’s made it 49-37 C’s. Kobe 3-of-6 FTs, 3-of-17 FG’s.
- L.A. got a FT line J from Kobe & lefty hook from Gasol, and the crowd back in it. 8-point game.
- Boston’s been almost exclusively using isolation plays here, getting another hoop from KG that was answered by Fish’s J.
- OK … well that was quick. Crowd’s even more involved thanks to Odom’s put-back layup. Smart time out by Doc Rivers.
- Certainly was a good time for a 9-2 Lakers run, when Boston’s lead had reached 13. Now same as halftime at 6.
- Huge momentum shift as L.A. got a stop down 6, but Kobe turned it over & Pierce hit a 3. Lead back to 9, crowd back to quiet.
- Odom’s driving lefty layup was answered by another ‘Sheed bank shot. Gasol’s taken only 1 shot in 3rd.
- Phil’s looking for some athleticism here in a tight game (enter Shannon Brown). Gasol’s block of KG & 2 FT’s on O cut lead to 5.
- Rondo was 4-for-17 from the FT line coming into Game 7, & just hit 1-of-2. Artest then gets 5th steal, but turns it over.
- After falling behind by 13 with 8:42 left in the 3rd, L.A. cut 9 points off to make it 57-53 Boston after 3 behind solid D.
- Kobe Bryant has struggled like few could have thought (5-of-20 FG’s) … but has 12 minutes to help win L.A. a title.

60786622Fourth Quarter
- Be interesting to see how the coaches manage minutes here. Players have to be tired after 3 slug-fest quarters.
- Big play from Gasol there for L.A., sinking a jumper in the lane plus the foul. Missed FT, but lead down to 2 to start 4th.
- Kobe checked back in after only a minute’s rest, but missed his first jumper after Gasol had earned another possession.
- The crowd was ready to blow the roof off had that Kobe J went down to tie the game, but they have 10+ more minutes.
- Lakers have been fantastic on defense … still trying to get over the hump on offense. 59-55 C’s after KG layup.
- Trying to get himself going, Bryant executed his swing-through move to get 3 FT’s. He made all 3, lead down to 1.
- Great help defense from rotations from L.A. didn’t matter as Allen hit a runner. Tough play, 61-58 C’s.
- Ron Artest continued an inspired performance with a 3-point play to tie the game at 61. Crowd going bonkers.
- Among the league’s best FT shooters ever just missed a big one, but made 2nd to put C’s back up 1. Great crowd. Fish back in.
- Offensive glass has kept L.A. in the game … another off. reb. got Gasol 2 FT’s, but he missed both. L.A. has missed 10 FT’s.
- Fisher hadn’t taken a shot in forever, but just swished a 3 to tie it. Kobe will head to line after his 12th reb., PF on Davis.
- OK folks … Lakers & Celtics Game 7, tied at 64, with Kobe heading to the line for L.A. 5:56 to play. Intense much?
- By the way, both teams will need to bury the most critical of pressure FT’s, with both teams already in bonus, 6 min to play.
- Bryant’s 2 FT’s swished through, much like his previous 3. Lakers lead for first time in 2nd half, at 66-64.
- Crowd going completely nuts after Kobe’s pull-up jumper. Boy, did he, and L.A., need that one. Lakers by 4.
- Kobe not only hit that pull-up J from about 18 feet, but had also cleared the defensive board. 20 points, 13 rebounds.
- Cannot stress enough how critical the crowd has been here for L.A.’s defense, willing stop after stop.
- L.A.’s 9-0 run was finally stopped by a Pierce J. 70-66, 3:30 to go.
- Yup, he struggled all game, but L.A.’s going to Kobe here. He earned 2 FT’s on a hard drive, made 1, lead at 5.
- Huge defensive stop from L.A. there … now Gasol’s going back to line, 2:20 left, after PP tried to draw a charge.
- Gasol hit 1-of-2, & Pierce drew Artest’s PF to get to the line. 74-70 L.A. after 2 makes, 2:14 to play.
- Odom missed a corner 3, but Gasol swatted Pierce to get the ball back to L.A. 1:46 to play. Insane tension.
- And that was a massive basket from the Spaniard. Pau Gasol, with 3 defenders, nailed a baseline leaner. L.A. by 6, 1:30 left.
- Kobe and Gasol have combined for 17-of-23 Laker points in the 4th after just 23 total through 1st 3 Q’s on 9-of-33 FG’s.
- OH MY GOODNESS. Ron Artest buried a 3 with 1 minute left … to answer Rasheed’s 3.
- Then Ray Allen nailed a 3 to answer Artest’s! Ridiculous!
- Another enormous play from Pau Gasol, who snatched Kobe’s missed 3, fed Kobe, who drew Wallace’s 6th foul.
- Kobe’s 2 FT’s, both makes, put L.A. up 81-76 with 25.7 seconds left. Talk about critical foul shots.
- Bynum ran out to midcourt to hug the Spaniard, who is looming ever so large after his 9th off. reb., 17th total.
- Crazy shot making continues as Rondo, who’d taken only 4 threes in the Finals, made one in the corner. Lead at 2, 13 sec. left.
- Vujacic calmly sank the 1st … then swished home the 2nd. Lead’s back to 2 possessions. Massive FT’s from Sasha.
- Those 2 Vujacic FT’s were the 1st bench pts for L.A. from someone not named Odom, who has 7. C’s bench only 6 pts. Starters game.
- The Lakers have captured their 2nd straight NBA Title.
- The Lakers outscored Boston 30-22 in the 4th Q, with their stars Bryant and Gasol carrying so much crunch time weight.
- Bryant finished with 23 points & 15 rebounds, and Gasol 19 and 18 after both struggled so much in first 3 quarters.
- What a game from Ron Artest, who came up with 20 points, 5 steals and 5 rebounds when he was needed most.
- The players are now spending time sharing hugs and tears on the court, with Phil Jackson, he of 11 titles, joining them.
- A fantastic game, truly a battle, ends with an 83-79 score. The Lakers are champions again.

Stay tuned for plenty more on