Wow. What a game. 92-86, Celtics.
- Paul Pierce played his best game of this series in the most important game of this series. He scored a series-high 27 points, owned the Lakers in pick-and-roll and isolation situations, and submitted perhaps the most important play of the game when he took a Kevin Garnett inbounds pass with 35.4 seconds left and fed a cutting Rajon Rondo for a layup as he was falling out of bounds. Rondo's bucket gave Boston an 89-82 lead.
- Pierce has a knack for the ball, or at least wanting it more. Back in 2008 he took that jump ball away from LeBron James, and earlier tonight he ripped a rebound away from Kobe with less than a minute left. The guy just wants this.
- Pierce was the headliner, but this was a total team effort tonight.
- Rondo put in 18 points and eight assists. Garnett notched a huge double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Ray Allen's still struggling from three-point nation (0-4 tonight), but still put in 12 crucial points.
- Kobe exploded for 38 points, with 19 of them coming in the third quarter. Yet, in the midst of that third quarter onslaught, LA never seemed to be able to get within eight points of the Celtics. The C's absorbed Kobe's greatest offensive effort of the series so far and emerged victorious.
- Pau Gasol barely managed double-figures in the scoring column tonight with 12 points, but added 12 rebounds.
- Andrew Bynum was all but a no-show tonight, with just six points.
- The Celtics won the battle of the boards, barely, 35-34. But hey, the trend continues. The team that's won the rebounding column in this series has won the game.
- People will harp on Rondo's seven turnovers, but I personally approved of his mindset in tonight's game. And he pretty much made us all forget about those TOs with that ridiculous tip-in over Kobe with 3:56 to play, which put Boston up, 87-75.
- Kendrick Perkins picked a good time to block his first shot of the series, as a rejection on Gasol led to a Pierce three-pointer in the left corner with 11:11 left in the third quarter, which put Boston up 50-39.
- And speaking of blocking Gasol, how about Tony Allen? That was an insane block with 1:26 left in the third quarter. Insane.
Hey, this one feels great, but tonight didn't clinch the championship. The Celtics still need to take care of business out in Los Angeles. But still, we're just one game away now.