Friday, June 6, 2008

Boston draws first blood

In most probably the most watched Boston- LA Finals in NBA History, the Boston Celtics drew first blood as they shut down the Los Angeles Lakers in the fourth quarter to win 98-88 in game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals. Kevin Garnett took most of the scoring in the first half with 16 of his 24 points as he led the Gang Green to the win. Paul Pierce added 22 points with 19 coming in the second half while Ray Allen19 points despite shooting 5 of 13 from the field.

The first quarter was like a boxing match with neither team giving the other a solid blow. While both teams were feeling each other out the Lakers got their running game going and their quick offense gave them and early lead. The Celtics caught up at 10-all and Ray Allen suddenly caught fire with a drive to the hoop and a three pointer as the Celtics took the first quarter 23-21. Kobe Bryant was 2 out of 8 in the first quarter as he settled for jump shots as the driving lanes were cut by the Celtics.In the second quarter reserve point guard Sam Casell ,all 38 years old of him started the Celtics offense by burying 6 straight points. The Lakers responded through Derek Fisher as D Fish and the rest of the Lakers kept the game close. Kevin Garnett scored on jumpshots against the outstretched hands of Pau Gasol as he burned the hoops for 16 first half points. The Celtics once again threatened to pull away with a 5 point lead that the Lakers quickly erased. Pau Gasol led the Lakers resurgence as their high octane offense was in high gear as they closed the first half with their own 5 point lead 51-46.

Paul Pierce started the third quarter like a man possessed as he scored 8 points in the opening 1:15 including a rare four point play to life the Celtics climb back into the game. Kobe Bryant came out to score in the third to keep the Celtics at bay with timely WOW shots including an alley hoop dunk and an unbelievable jumper with Garnett’s and Allen’s hands nearing to block his shot to give LA a 71-69 lead. Boston came back with back to back three pointers by Paul Pierce as the Celtics finally closed out a quarter with a 77-73 lead.

At the start of the fourth quarter the Celtics reserves suddenly caught fire. Ray Allen combined with Sam Casell, Leon Powe and James Posey to give the Celtics an 86-78 lead. After that, Lakers offense suddenly run cold as their shots did not fall despite the good looks that they had. Boston went to Paul Pierce as the Celtics raced to a 90-82 lead with 3:15 to play. The Lakers threatened with Lamar Odom’s three point play at 90-85 with 2:57 left but that proved to be their last stand as the Celtics closed them out. The Celtics hung tough and their signature defense came through as they held the Lakers to 5 of 20 fourth Quarter shooting to come out on top. Kobe Bryant scored 24 points while Gasol and Fisher added 15 each as Odom chipped in 14 points.

Game 2 will be another hell raiser for both teams as they have adjusted with how both teams play. Look for the Lakers to be more energetic while the CEltics will have more confidence in them.

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