Now the real Boston Celtics are in town and they all came to play. After their second stringers helped them big time in their morale boosting Game 4 win, the Celtics relied on their All-stars to counter the incredible shooting of Kobe Bryant as they scored a 92 – 86 win against the Los Angeles Lakers and take control of the series for the first time with a 3 – 2 lead. Coming to the play-offs the Celtics who were seeded fourth in the East were not given a chance to make it to the finals, but now they are one win away of securing their 18th title.
The first half was a prelude to the shoot-out that was about to ensue in the second half. The Lakers started the game missing their first six shots that the Celtics took advantage of by leading 6 – 0. Andrew Bynum returned and combined with Derek Fisher to take a 15 – 14 lead. Paul Pierce on the other hand countered by making shots that gave the Celts a 22 - 20 first quarter lead. Pierce then combined with Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo to put the Celtics on top after 24 minutes of action with a 45 – 39 advantage.
Kobe scored 23 straight points for the Lakers
The Celtics fended off all tries by the Lakers to cut the lead as Bryant got more help from Gasol, Lamar Odom and Ron Artest. Unfortunately the Celtices always had an answer for every spurt that the Lakers were trying to put up. The Lakers last stand came after Rajon Rondo scored on a put back after Paul Pierce missed on a three pointer. His put back put the Celtics on top 87 -75 with 3:56 to go in the game and the Celtics fans celebrating. After that , Bryant would score 5 points while Gasol and Artest would nail one free throw each as part of a 7 – 0 run for the Lakers to close the gap to 87-82.
The Lakers had one final chance to move closer as Pierce fouled Ron Artest after Garnett lost out on a jump ball that created a fastbreak situation for the Lakers. Artest had a chance to cut the lead to three but muffed both free throws. After that miss, Pierce who was trying to break away for a fastbreak was fouled by Bryant and the Celtics sued for time. During the inbound play the Celtics almost turned the ball over but Pierce found Rondo dashing to the basket whom he hit with a pass and Rondo made the shot. That sequence killed the Lakers chances of turning the game around. This is the first time that the Lakers are trailing a team in a series. The Thunder and Suns equalized but lost out in Game 5 which the Lakers used to as a hinge to win their series. Now they are going back to LA needing two more wins. This time, the plot thickens once again. If game 5 is an indication, Game 6 will be another shootfest.