NBA Finals Game 1 home Celtics win
After a week's worth of anticipation, the LA Lakers go into the Boston Garden but are held off by the resilient Boston Celtics, 98-88. MVP Kobe Bryant has a rough night offensively, shooting 9 / 26 from the floor with nary a three pointer. Meanwhile, Paul Pierce goes down after a weird twist in his knee, but returns shortly thereafter to lead the team.
The Los Angeles Lakers actually held a five point lead going into halftime despite Bryant's struggles from the floor. Fisher (15 pts 4 rebs 6 assists), Odom (14 points 5 rebs), and Gasol (15 pts 8 rebs 4 assists) had solid if not unspectacular showings.
A big turning point in the game was in the 3rd quarter, after a struggling Radmanovic knocked down a three, he was called for a questionable foul to put him in dire foul trouble at the time. This stunted the momentum from Radmanovic's three pointer that tied the game, and the Celtics went on to outscore the Lakers by 15 points in the second half.
On Boston's side, the big turn of events for the night occurred when Bryant drove to the lane and Paul Pierce landed awkwardly, holding his knee. Pierce was fortunate to come out shortly after from the training room, as he could have been looking at his first Finals from the sideline. Instead Pierce came back into the game and hit a key three to lead the second half charge.
Kevin Garnett started off hot with 20 quick points, but as usual his scoring dipped towards the end. Still, 24 points 13 rebounds 3 assists is a nice first Finals game for KG. That he shot 9 / 22 is a sign that he is settling a bit too much for jump shots in the second half and needs to keep his first half aggression up to get high percentage shots for himself or teammates.
Ray Allen had a decent all around game with 19 points 8 rebounds 5 assists, but marred with 4 turnovers and just 5 / 13 shooting from the field (2 / 6 from 3pt land). Allen though was one of the Celtics that hounded Bryant all night into difficult shots.
And the veteran Sam Cassell broke out of his playoff slump to produce 8 points 1 assist 0 turnovers in 12 minutes, which could have been even sleeker had he knocked down one of his two three pointers attempted. The Celts though did not get much help from the other bench members, and Kendrick Perkins had just 1 point 4 rebounds in 23 minutes.
The NBA Finals are spread out more than the other playoff series. Instead of every other day, there are a few days between games. NBA Finals Game 2 will be played at 9pm eastern Sunday Night in the Boston Garden.