The NBA Finals will head back to LA for Game 6, with the Boston Celtics holding a 3-2 advantage over the Lakers. Kobe Bryant was unstoppable, scoring 23 straight points for the Lakers on a streak that began with 4:23 left in the second, and ended when there was only 2:16 left in the third. Unfortunately for him, his teammates channeled their inner Keith Van Horn, forcing Phil Jackson to contemplate bringing former Laker great Vlade Divac out of retirement.
Generally, when a team has a player that hot they’re hard to beat. Unfortunately for Kobe, he was the only Laker scoring. Kobe finished with 38 on the night, while the next highest scoring Laker was Pau Gasol who had a 12 point, 12 rebound performance. The other eight Lakers had a combined 38 points, undoubtedly distracted by Khloe Kardashian’s stunning good looks.
But Bryant said neither the rivalry nor revenge should be motivating his teammates when they try to stave off elimination at home.
“Just man up and play. What the hell is the big deal?” he said. “If I have to say something to them, then we don’t deserve to be champions. We’re down 3-2: Go home, win one game, go into the next one. Simple as that.”
Bryant did everything he could to send the Lakers home with the edge.
He scored 23 straight Lakers points between the 4:23 mark of the second quarter until there was 2:16 left in the third. But over that span, the Celtics expanded the lead from one point to 13. –ESPN
In Game 4, it was Shrek and Donkey, along with the rest of the Celtics’ bench that got the job done for Bill Simmons’ boys. However, it was The Big 3 plus Rajon Rondo who ran the show in Game 5. Combined, they had 75 points: Pierce finished with 27, Rondo and KG dropped 18 a piece, and Ray Allen got his licks in with 12. KG was also able to regain his dominance on the boards, grabbing 10, while Rondo was able to run the show picking up 8 assists. Doc
Brown Rivers was able to maintain his team’s composure while Bryant dominated the game.
“I just tried to keep telling them, ‘It’s only 2 points each time he scores. It’s not 10,'” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “It’s just like if someone else was scoring. … I love that our guys for the most part, they understood what he was doing. But we defended everyone else. And I thought it was big.” –ESPN
The Lakers didn’t do a good job on either the offensive or defensive end of the court. The Celtics shot 56% from the field, and held LA to below 40%. Now I’m no Reggie Miller, but I’m pretty sure that’s a bad sign. Boston is now only one win away from beating their rivals in the finals for the second time in three seasons. If they win it all, be ready for high chances of Brian Scalabrine bitching to the media for not predicting a Boston sweep. A collection of Scalabrine FAILS to help get over your case of the Mondays after the jump.