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"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?
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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