"Live" Blogging Game 4 of NBA Finals (2008)

Lakers up by 24 in the first half, 20 in the 3rd quarter, can't hold on to the victory. Can history repeat?

The Magic are down 2 games to 1 headed into game 4.  They are hoping to make a comeback against the Lakers.  The Celtics know a little something about the subject, so I thought this was a perfect time to dust off the throwback machine.  Some games you put on "Save till I delete" on your DVR.  Game 4 of last year's Finals was one of them.

Celtics lead the series 2 games to 1 and the teams are ready to tip off at the Forum.  Below are my rolling thoughts, one year later.

  • Back in the starting lineup after leaving game 3 with a sprained ankle is Rajon Rondo.  He tells Michelle Tafoya that he's about 89.555%.
  • Kobe looks pensive on the sideline.  I like that word for him, "pensive."  Just sounds right.

First Quarter

  • First play of the game is a KG goaltend of a Lamar Odom shot.  More from Lamar later, but man, how much do I miss watching KG play?  Even when he made mistakes, it was usually because he was trying too hard.  Can't wait to see him healthy again.
  • Announcers point out that Ray Allen is the leading scorer for the Celtics in the series thus far.
  • Kobe goes to the line and the crowd immediately starts chanting "MVP, MVP, MVP"
  • Everything going the Lakers way - even when they make a turnover, they get the ball back.
  • Two straight no-calls by the officials has Doc up and yelling and gets him a tech.
  • Odom's dunk makes it 9-2 and the crowd is hopping.
  • Rondo hits a jumper and everyone is stunned, ...including him.  Minutes later he is wide open and looks like a quarterback checking down his options.  He takes a hesitant jumper and predictably misses.
  • Lakers go up 16-6 on an Odom layup and Doc calls timeout.  Tafoya reports that he tells his team to relax and play more physical.
  • KG has two fouls and has to come out of the game.
  • PJ Brown is another guy I miss.  Imagine that - a legit, tall, big man off the bench you can rely on.
  • Celtics missing everything, head into a timeout down 24-7.
  • Pierce creates 5 points with a layup and kick out to Ray, but nobody else can hit a thing.
  • And there's one more guy I miss.  James Posey passes up a 3 and blows the layup.  Well, nobody said he was perfect.
  • Jeff Van Gundy goes out on a limb and predicts that the Lakers will tie up the series (they are up 17 at the time).  Marc Jackson says "give me a team of Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett, and I like their chance of making a comeback."  Prophetic?
  • Ariza hits a 3 with nobody within 20 feet of him.  Kobe attracts a lot of attention, but that's just a missed assignment by someone.
  • 1st quarter ends L.A. 35, Boston 14.

Second Quarter

  • "When are we seeing KG back in the game?" - Tafoya
  • "Right now, we're down too much" - Doc
  • Hey, there's Leon Powe - he was nice to have around for the playoffs, wasn't he?
  • Lakers are up over 20 points and Kobe hasn't hit a field goal yet.  Announcers praising his unselfishness and the character of this Lakers team.
  • Cassell almost turns it over.  Yeah, I don't miss him quite as much as the other guys.
  • KG hits a couple of post shots to keep it... um, "close" - if you can call it that.
  • Will Smith in the building and feeling pretty confident.  Talks about his Philly roots (hating the Celtics) and his friendship with Kobe.  I think I like him a little bit less now.
  • Sasha hits a 3 to put them up 24.  He's feeling pretty confident now too. 
  • KG hits a shot from the post and Ray hits an open 3.  The lead is "down" to 19.  Zen Boy feels nervous and calls a timeout.  If only he knew.
  • In the timeout Doc told his team to "get it to 10."
  • Posey scores 5 straight to cut it down to 14.
  • Pierce hits a shot to make it a 12 - 0 run before Fisher finally hits a shot (plus the foul).
  • Gasol dunks to push the lead back to 17 but Posey answers back with a 3 at the perfect moment and KG blocks a shot on the other end.
  • After trading fouls and buckets, the Lakers head into the locker room up 17 points.

Third Quarter

  • Van Gundy is talking about how poorly the Boston point guards are playing this series.  On que Rondo makes a nice drive and dish for an assist.
  • Kobe finally hits his first field goal.
  • KG hits a couple of shots to cut it to 12.
  • Perkins hurts his shoulder picking up a foul.  Heads to the locker room in obvious pain.
  • Pierce is now covering Kobe.  D's him up tight but Kobe still hits a 3 over him.  Pierce comes right back after him on the next possession forcing Kobe to pass to a teammate who immediately turns it over.
  • Fisher hits a jumper to push the lead back to 20.
  • Tough drive by Pierce and a 3 by House.
  • Pierce blocks Kobe!  Pass up to Ray Allen who's fouled on the layup.  Here we go!
  • Defense causes a turnover and Ray puts in a layup to cut it to 11.
  • Tony Allen makes a rare appearance.
  • Pierce puts in a circus shot for a 3 point play.  He abuses Ariza, Gasol, and Kobe on the same play.  The Celts have outscored the Lakers 14 - 3 in just under 4 minutes of action and the lead is down to 9.
  • KG blocks a Gasol dunk attempt.  De-fense!
  • Announcers remind us that the Lakers came back from 24 to almost win game 2 but the Celtics were able to hold on.  Somehow I forgot all about that.  What a streaky series.
  • House hits a 3.  We have a 6 point game!  Zen Boy looks nervous.  Kobe looks pensive.
  • Ray blows by Sasha (hmmm, I think we'll see that move again) and is fouled. (automatic 2)
  • Defense forces Farmar into an airball 3 point attempt.
  • PJ Brown ends the 3rd with a dunk to cut it to 2!

Forth Quarter

  • Ray_allen_by_sasha_medium Just noticed some guy in the front row wearing a green jersey.  Turns out it is an old school Sonics Ray Allen jersey.  Hat tip to that guy.  Bonus points for wearing it where Stern could see it.
  • Sasha misses a wide open 3 pointer.  Soon after he takes out his frustration by scissor kicking Ray Allen on the baseline.  Then he has the gaul to complain about the call!
  • Powe back down Odom and banks in a shot (ram it down low Powe!) to tie the game!
  • Kobe and Pierce trade baskets.  Let the showdown begin.
  • Celtics blow several opportunities to take the lead and Odom puts the Lakers back up 2.
  • Pierce crumples to the floor (last year "oh no, not again") as Kobe gets a dunk on the other end.  Is this it?  Do the Celtics not have enough to finish off the comeback?
  • Out of the time out, Posey hits a 3 pointer.  Nobody's timing was better than that guy's.
  • Odom is backing down Posey on the block but Pose pulls the chair out from under him and Odom throws a wild shot off the glass.  C's rebound and head the other way.
  • House hits a jumper and the Celtics take their first lead of the game.
  • Ray Allen hits an up and under layup and a graphic on the screen says that the C's have outscored the Lakers 36 - 13 since the 5:50 mark of the 3rd quarter.
  • Lakers are having trouble even getting shots off, never mind making them.  Just a defensive clinic.
  • KG drops in a shot in the paint to go up 5.  Zen Boy calls a timeout.
  • After a few free throws, Kobe beats Pierce and KG for a tough lay-in to cut it back to 2.
  • Posey hits yet another killer 3 at just the right time.
  • Fisher hits a deep shot, but his foot was on the line, just 2 points.
  • More free throws, a Gasol dunk, Lakers cut the lead to 3.
  • 21 seconds left in the game, Ray Allen has the ball at the top of the key.  Sasha is in his best defensive stance.  You know what comes next.
  • Stutter step, hard dribble to the right, switches hands, lefty layup over Gasol.  Up 5 with only 16 seconds left.  This on is ours.
  • Sasha shoots, no good.  Lakers rebound, get it to Kobe, shoots off balance 3, no good.  Loose ball, Celtics pick it up.  House is fouled.  Hits both shots.  Game.
  • Largest comeback victory in Finals history: Done.

Pierce talks after the game about the 2002 comeback and taking on the challenge of guarding Kobe.

What a great game.  What a great feeling.  Still feels so good a year later.

There's the blueprint Orlando.  See if you can use some of that tonight and for the rest of the series.

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