Monday, June 16, 2008

Lakers Stay Alive in Game 5

The NBA Finals will shift back to Boston, as the Lakers managed to hold on for a win Sunday night, keeping their NBA title hopes alive. It would have been a huge win for the Celtics to capture the NBA title in LA, and also memorable for Doc Rivers who lost his father earlier this season. However, the Lakers showed resolve tonight despite an excellent 38 point performance by Paul Pierce. A 103-98 win is now in the books for LA, and the series sits at 3-2 Celtics.

Kobe Bryant recorded 25 points in the win as well as a big breakaway dunk in the 4th. Lamar Odom also had an oustanding game. It seemed whenever Odom had the ball inside he scored. Kobe told Michelle Tafoya in his postgame interview that tonight's Lakers performance won't be good enough to win on the road.

The Celtics were hampered by the loss of Kendrick Perkins due to a strained shoulder injury. Perkins didn't play Sunday night and is doubtful for Tuesday in Boston. Leon Powe got the start, with PJ Brown and James Posey also picking up additional minutes. Garnett and Pierce also got into foul trouble, as KG wrestled with 5 fouls during the closing moments. Close to fouling out, KG had to play a bit softer against Gasol inside. Jeff Van Gundy remarked that the defense of the Lakers wasn't solid, as they basically won the game on a iffy steal and missed free throws. However, the Celtics again made an impressive comeback, down by double digits in quarter 1.

The Celtics should be able to wrap the series up by Thursday, en route to another NBA title. Not to be premature with the prediction, but no team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the Finals. Then again not many teams have an MVP like Kobe.

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