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Post-game analysis: Lakers vs Celtics
« on: June 07, 2010, 04:19:31 AM »
The talk coming into the game circled around how the Celtics' defense may rival that of the 2008 championship  team.

On Thursday, the Lakers showed their rendition of defense.

They took charges. They caused deflections. They altered and rejected shots inside. In short, they frustrated Boston.

That defense coupled with a late third-quarter spurt helped the defending champs deliver an emphatic blow to the Celtics, winning 102-89 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals at Staples Center.

Leading the way for the Lakers in the series opener was Bryant, who had a game-high 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists. He has now scored 30-plus in 10 of his last 11 contests. Pau Gasol had a terrific all-around game with 23 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. Ron Artest chipped in 15.

The dominating fashion in which the Lakers, who led by as many as 20 points, took Game 1 was surprising, even to Boston's Paul Pierce.

After the game, Pierce, who a team-high 24 points, was quick to mention how many points the Celtics have given up. That's because they have only given up 100 or more points four times coming into the series.         

The Lakers built their lead off their swarming defense, a 16-0 advantage on second chance points and a 48-30 differential on points in the paint.

They also held Boston to 43.3 percent shooting and neutralized their best player.

"They did a great job getting back on the fast break," said Rondo, who had 13 points and eight assists. "They did a good job of collapsing when I did get a chance to get inside the paint ... they did a great job mixing it up."

The third quarter was huge for the Lakers as they outscored the Celtics 34-23.

Boston did show some fight at the start of the fourth quarter. Trailing by 20 points, the Celtics whittled the deficit to 85-74 after a 10-1 run. But the Lakers answered.

Facing the Suns' zone defense helped the Lakers sharpen their ball movement and cuts to the basket.

Gasol and Andrew Bynum showed that early on with with Gasol scoring 11 first-half points and Bynum looking as spry as a person with a torn meniscus in his right knee can. Bynum, finished with 10 points and six rebounds.Foul trouble plagued the Celtics' Ray Allen, who picked up his fourth in the opening minutes of the third quarter. Allen, who finished with 12 points in 27 minutes, returned late in the third quarter and 20 seconds later, picked up his fifth foul.

The Celtics talked after the game about needing to control the penetration of the Lakers guards, so their big men wouldn't have to help and be left out of rebounding position. They need to come up with something better against Bryant, because Ray Allen was in constant foul trouble and ineffective with the assignment. - bohol chronicle reposted

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