And just like that, the Celtics have all the momentum in the NBA Finals. Winning last night’s Game 2 behind a record-setting performance from Ray Allen and the clutch playmaking of Rajon Rondo, Boston now gets three straight games at home, where they’re 7-2 in these playoffs and went 3-0 against the Lakers in the ’08 Finals … As invisible as Ray was in Game 1, he had everybody checking for him this time. In the first half he dropped seven three-pointers — missing only once and scoring 27 before halftime — and finished with an NBA Finals record eight treys. Ray (32 pts) started out banging shots in Derek Fisher and Shannon Brown‘s faces like he was Miguel Cotto and they were Yuri Foreman; and even after Kobe took on the assignment, the 10-time NBA All-Defensive pick got lit up, too … Andrew Bynum (21 pts, 6 rebs, 7 blks) and Pau Gasol (25 pts, 8 rebs, 6 blks) led L.A.’s second-half comeback, and midway through the fourth quarter it was all tied up. Rondo then scored 8 of Boston’s next 10 points, part of a 16-4 run down the stretch in which the Celtics pulled away. Rondo (19 pts, 12 rebs, 10 asts) made the defensive plays and got the opportunistic rebounds you’d expect, but he also stuck his mid-range jumpers and free throws in crunch time. Rondo was so locked in, he was the only one who noticed Paul Pierce still had a towel on his head coming out of a late fourth-quarter timeout and snatched it off before play resumed … When everybody praises Ray Allen as the best player in the world at moving without the ball like it’s not even a contest, does Rip Hamilton get jealous? Antawn Jamison should have a bone to pick there, too … Kobe was in distribution mode early, racking up four assists before making his first bucket. But in the moments where he’d normally take over as a scorer, Kobe (21 pts, 5 rebs, 6 asts, 4 stls) was either on the bench in foul trouble or missing shots. The highlight of his night was right before halftime when he stole a long pass and drained a deep three before the buzzer. By his standards, this has to go down as a bad game for Kobe. And you could tell from his Do-Not-F***-With-Me demeanor in the post-game press conference that he’s already plotting an explosion in Game 3 … If you’re pulling for the Celtics, you’re biggest hope is that they can maintain their energy moving forward. Boston can win this series if they keep pushing the pace: In Game 2 they played their best when Rondo created buckets via penetration, the bigs ran the floor, and Ray, Pierce and Rasheed were knocking down jumpers while trailing the fast break. But can they keep it up? Garnett (6 pts, 4 rebs) was terrible last night, Ray slowed down considerably in the second half, and even Rondo was visibly exhausted by the end of the third quarter. Doc Rivers has to be smart about managing the starters’ minutes while using the right replacements off the bench … Now before anybody starts complaining about an NBA conspiracy against their team, please realize that the refs were bad on both sides. The crazy foul calls, crazy no-calls, and ticky-tack nonsense destroyed the flow of the game for everybody. But good luck telling that to the average Lakers fans. Kobe got a couple of rough calls — which in L.A. is considered a worse offense than senior citizen abuse — and Lamar Odom is one more late whistle away from going Nick Van Exel on a ref … Spotted in the crowd: Kevin Love, Kurt Rambis, Andy Garcia (swagger-jacking Col. Sanders), Leo DiCaprio, one of the dudes from “Entourage,” Sylvester Stallone, Hillary Swank, Dane Cook, Jack and Justin Timberlake. No Grown Ups cast this time, but we’d gladly trade having them at every game if it meant we didn’t have to watch those lame comedy/analysis segments. Are the announcers under orders to laugh at those? … Mid-game Tweet from Jalen Rose (@jalenrose): “A fan has on a #7 Lakers jersey that says ‘Odashian’ on the back!” … Mike Breen asked Jeff Van Gundy, “As a coach, what’s the first thing you look at on the stat sheet after a game?” After JVG gave his answer, Mark Jackson jumped in with his two cents — except nobody asked him because he’s never been a coach. The on-air job audition continues … As soon as the first-quarter buzzer sounded, Adam Morrison (in street clothes) jumped off the bench and was the first guy on the court to greet his teammates. That was the quickest first step he’s ever displayed. And speaking of the DNP All-Stars, Brian Scalabrine was decked in all-black on the bench. He was attending the funeral of his NBA relevancy … We’re out like Odashian …
Smack / Jun 7, 2010 / 3:41 am
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