Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lakers head to Boston, scene of bad memories

Kobe Bryant reacts to a call during a Game 2 loss. The next three games are in Boston, where the Lakers were eliminated in 2008.

Getty Images

Kobe Bryant reacts to a call during a Game 2 loss. The next three games are in Boston, where the Lakers were eliminated in 2008.

BOSTON — Chin resting in his hand, mouth barely moving as he spoke, Kobe Bryant had the look of someone who would have rather been anywhere but Staples Center.

The next few nights might make him long to be back home.

The NBA's best rivalry is returning to its East Coast headquarters, site of a miserable moment for Bryant the last time he and the Lakers were in Boston for the Finals.

And the Celtics and their green-clad fans can't wait to welcome him back.

"I feel good going back to the jungle," Celtics forward Kevin Garnett said.

Game 3 is tonight, the first of three straight in Boston.

The Celtics evened the series at a game apiece with their 103-94 victory in Game 2, with guards Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen punishing the Lakers, and Bryant often powerless to stop them because of foul trouble.

Bryant had little to say afterward, offering terse responses as he looked back on that game and ahead to the next one.

"It's the most important game. Game 1 was the most important, Game 2 was the most important, now it's Game 3," Bryant said. "It's just the next game, simple as that."

The Finals are deadlocked after two games for the first time since 2004, when the Pistons split in Los Angeles before coming home and winning three straight. That was Bryant's first loss in the championship round.

His other one came two years ago. The Celtics pummeled the Lakers 131-92 in a Game 6 rout. While the Celtics celebrated, the Lakers sat trapped in their team bus as Boston fans taunted them from the street.

"Obviously there's feelings involved and there's memories that are in there, which should help us, should help us to push through and to battle even harder," Lakers forward Pau Gasol said of that night.

Both teams were off Monday after the flight from Los Angeles.

"We took homecourt, so we've got a chance to play three games (at home)," Celtics forward Paul Pierce said. "It's going to be a championship atmosphere, the Garden's going to be loud. They've been waiting for us a week and a half now, so it's going to be a pretty raucous crowd."

bynum BLOCK PARTY: Lakers center Andrew Bynum blocked seven shots in Game 2, two shy of the Finals record set by the Magic's Dwight Howard in Game 4 last year against the Lakers. The Lakers franchise playoff record for blocks is nine, by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1977.

Bynum has had a sore right knee. He had fluid drained May 31, then had 10 points and six rebounds in a little more than 28 minutes of Los Angeles' 102-89 Game 1 victory.

In Game 2, he had 21 points, six rebounds and key blocked shots.

"He recovered really well off of some swelling that he had on that knee," coach Phil Jackson said.

Game 2 ratings up: The Celtics' win Sunday earned the highest preliminary rating for Game 2 of a Finals since 2004. The 10.9 overnight rating was up 10 percent from the 9.9 for last year's Magic-Lakers Game 2. Ratings measure the percentage of all homes with televisions tuned into a program. Overnight ratings represent the country's largest markets.

Cavaliers: Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said Cleveland is interested in replacing fired coach Mike Brown with the Spartans' Tom Izzo and that Izzo has had discussions with the Cavaliers, but there hasn't been an offer.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert discussed the framework of a deal, worth about $6 million a season for up to five years. At Michigan State, Izzo, 55, makes more than $3 million a season and is under contract through 2016.

In a radio interview Monday night, Izzo said: "I've taken the no-comment-on-all-of-it policy. I've been very consistent with that. There have been so many things out there that are so far-fetched right now. I'm the Michigan State coach. That's what I'm going to do. Who knows what the future brings, but it sure isn't at all like it's maybe being speculated."

In a text message to the Lansing State Journal, Izzo said the reports are "way more (baloney) than substance."

Hornets: The team scheduled a news conference today to formally introduce Monty Williams as coach. Williams, 38, has been a Trail Blazers assistant since 2005.

FAST FACTS

Lakers 1, Celtics 1

(all games Ch. 28)

Game 1: Lakers 102, Celtics 89

Game 2: Celtics 103, Lakers 94

Today: at Boston, 9

Thursday: at Boston, 9

Sunday: at Boston, 8

June 15: at Los Angeles, 9*

June 17: at Los Angeles, 9*

* if necessary

Lakers head to Boston, scene of bad memories 06/07/10 [Last modified: Monday, June 7, 2010 10:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. James Wilder Jr. back at running back...in Canada

    Blogs

    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  2. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  3. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  4. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108