But the Lakers still had hope. They also had a not so secret weapon. In the 4th quarter, we would need Kobe. But in a strange way, we didn’t have Kobe. Gone was the killer from Game 3. That guy was replaced by a player that looked tired. After playing his heart out in Game 3 and literally carrying the Lakers to a win, our best player looked gassed in the 4th quarter of game 4. He was working his butt off on defense trying to handle Pierce (when an ineffective Rondo was pulled, there was no longer a non-shooter for Kobe to roam off of) and he didn’t seem to have any energy left to pull out the heroics that he has graced us with over his career. What made it worse was the fact that his teammates could not pick him up the way they had earlier in the game. Gone was the crisp ball movement and sharp off ball movement. Gone was the aggression that they had displayed that made his first half woes irrelevant. Rather than play the aggressive game that had given them a 24 point lead earlier, the Lakers’ players played passive. And while we had some good stops early in the period, and played a close game the rest of the way, the Celtics were able to score when they needed to and we could not. Looking at a heartbroken Sasha after Ray Allen made that layup was a microcosm of what every fan was thinking. We would lose. It was only a formality.