Lakers Gains Back Home Court Edge over Boston
The Boston Celtics came home to a loud and rowdy crowd.
But the Los Angeles Lakers played to silence them all.
Edging the Celtics by seven points, the Lakers are now up 2-1 in their Finals rivalry courtesy of a 91-84 win on the road at the TD Garden. Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 29 points, while Kevin Garnett, making for two dismal nights of playing on the road, notched 25 points for the Celtics.
Derek Fisher was the key to LA’s win on the road, putting up 11 of his 16 points in the second half, not to mention the terrific defense he covered against Ray Allen. Fish’s performance not only snuffed out the life from Ray Allen’s shooting, but also helped the Lakers keep their seven-point margin from Boston until the final buzzer.
If Garnett had made up for his uncharacteristic outing in games one and two, it was Allen who was on the other side of things. Just two nights earlier he was 8-of-11 from beyond the arc. All of a sudden, he was 0-of-13 in their very own home floor. If only three of those thirteen went in, Boston would have kept the home court edge.
It was Boston’s bench that kept their team within striking distance down the stretch against the Lakers. Glen Davis and Tony Allen dared to bang bodies with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol under the post, and they had more times successful in getting scores. But as the minutes ticked by, Fish flipped the switch on and gave LA enough cushion to steal one on the road. Add to that the many possessions they got as time was winding down, but their missed shots and infractions away from the ball cost them the game.
LA now has the home court edge back.
Boston will have to win both games at home and steal one on the road if they want to end the series in six. Otherwise, LA can win it all away from home and seal the deal in five. Phil Jackson, talking to his team at the dug-out minutes after they were trampled in Game Two, mentioned that he’d rather not go home to LA and win the championship there. After all, its sweeter to vanquish the foe right in their own ground.
As for Boston, this is far from over for them.