Why the Celtics won: Focus. They could have been frustrated coming off Game 1. They could have fallen apart when their big first-half lead evaporated tonight. Ray Allen could have let a disappointing Game 1 get inside his head. Paul Pierce could have broken Ray’s first-half rhythm by demanding the ball if he felt left out, or stopped playing tough defense when his shots weren’t falling. Big Baby could have stopped going hard after he’d had his shot blocked for the fourth or fifth time. Perkins, KG and Big Baby could have lost their heads after some bad foul calls. There were a lot of instances where Boston could have let this one get away from them, but they maintained the focus of a championship team.
Why the Lakers lost: Defense. In the first half they let Ray torch them with seven threes, as Derek Fisher, Shannon Brown and Kobe all got burned. In the second half they did a good job containing Ray, but some untimely defensive breakdowns allowed some easy buckets for the Celtics. The 10-0 Celtics run late in the fourth quarter effectively ended it.
Key numbers: Ray Allen (32 pts, 8-11 3PA); Rajon Rondo (19 pts, 12 rebs, 10 asts); Kobe Bryant (21 pts, 8-20 FG, 5 rebs, 6 asts, 4 stls); Andrew Bynum (21 pts, 7 blks); Pau Gasol (25 pts, 8 rebs, 6 blks); Three-Pointers (Celtics 11-16, Lakers 5-20).