Make us your home page

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 take rivalry to final chapter

LOS ANGELES — Buckle up, Boston and L.A. This NBA Finals is going to Game 7.

Kobe Bryant made sure of it, with plenty of help from the rest of the revitalized Lakers.

Bryant scored 26, Pau Gasol added 17 points and 13 rebounds, and Los Angeles emphatically extended the Finals to a decisive game by defeating Boston 89-67 in Game 6 on Tuesday night.

Ron Artest added 15 points for the Lakers, who stared down elimination by jumping to a 22-point lead during a dazzling first half. While limiting the Celtics to the second lowest-scoring performance in Finals history, the defending champions stretched the championship series to the limit for the first time since 2005.

A champ will be crowned Thursday at Staples Center.

Ray Allen scored 19 for the Celtics, who took an ugly pratfall on the verge of winning their unprecedented 18th title.

It turns out their rivals are still quite serious about earning their 16th championship.

Two years after the Celtics ended the Finals with a 39-point blowout of the Lakers in Game 6, Los Angeles turned Game 6 into a long nightmare for Boston. Only Utah's 54-point performance against Chicago in 1998 was worse than this flop, which included 33 percent shooting and a 52-39 rebounding advantage for the Lakers.

"We did a great job," Bryant said. "We have to come with the same energy, the same dedication to defense (in Game 7)."

Bryant grabbed 11 rebounds, and Gasol led the Lakers with nine assists in a remarkable bounce-back game for Los Angeles, which dominated from the opening minutes by vacuuming up rebounds and playing relentless defense. The Lakers' bench largely took care of the rest, outscoring Boston's reserves.

"Our defense was good, our rebounding was better," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "We had some good luck on some tips and offensive rebounds, and those things changed the course of the game."

These rivals have gone seven games in 12 previous Finals meetings, with Boston winning all four. But it hasn't happened since 1984.

Paul Pierce scored 13 and Kevin Garnett added 12, but the Celtics' offense was a jumbled, stand-around mess. Rajon Rondo shot 1-for-8 to start before finishing with 10 points and six assists.

"I thought we'd play better, obviously," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "I thought we were ready. … We played an individual game tonight on both ends. We never gave ourselves an opportunity offensively, because we never trusted each other. Everybody was out to make their own place."

After earning the NBA's second-best road record during the regular season, the Celtics must win on the road again to avoid becoming just the third team to blow a 3-2 series lead in the 2-3-2 finals format.

The Celtics lost starting center Kendrick Perkins in the first quarter when he sprained right knee landing awkwardly under the basket.

There hasn't been a winner-take-all Finals game since San Antonio finished off Detroit five years ago.

red sox support: The Red Sox moved up the starting time of their game to 6:10 p.m. Thursday night at Fenway Park to give fans a chance to watch the Celtics-Lakers Game 7.

at Lakers 28 23 25 13 89
Celtics 18 13 20 16 67
Series tied at 3

BOSTON (67): Pierce 6-14 0-0 13, Garnett 6-14 0-0 12, Perkins 0-1 0-0 0, Rondo 5-15 0-2 10, R.Allen 7-14 3-3 19, Wallace 0-7 0-0 0, T.Allen 1-4 0-0 2, Robinson 2-8 1-1 6, Davis 0-3 0-2 0, Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Daniels 1-2 2-2 5, Finley 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-84 6-10 67.

L.A. LAKERS (89): Artest 6-11 0-0 15, Gasol 6-14 5-6 17, Bynum 1-4 0-0 2, Fisher 1-1 2-2 4, Bryant 9-19 7-7 26, Brown 2-4 0-0 4, Odom 3-9 2-2 8, Vujacic 3-6 1-2 9, Farmar 2-6 0-0 4, Powell 0-2 0-0 0, Walton 0-2 0-0 0, Mbenga 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 33-79 17-19 89.

3-Point GoalsBoston 5-23 (R.Allen 2-5, Daniels 1-1, Pierce 1-4, Robinson 1-4, Garnett 0-1, Finley 0-1, Rondo 0-1, Wallace 0-6), L.A. Lakers 6-19 (Artest 3-6, Vujacic 2-4, Bryant 1-4, Brown 0-1, Farmar 0-1, Powell 0-1, Odom 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsBoston 49 (Davis 9), L.A. Lakers 59 (Gasol 13). AssistsBoston 17 (Rondo 6), L.A. Lakers 17 (Gasol 9). Total FoulsBoston 21, L.A. Lakers 17. TechnicalsBryant, L.A. Lakers defensive three second. A18,997 (18,997).

Around the league

KERR LEAVING: Steve Kerr won't return as general manager of the Suns, despite building a team that made a surprising run to the Western Conference final. Kerr said at a news conference that the decision was personal. He said reports of a contract disagreement with owner Robert Sarver were untrue.

WADE WATCH: Udonis Haslem expects Dwyane Wade to return to the Heat next season. Speaking at a Heat summer camp event, Haslem, a former star at Florida, said he and Wade talk daily. And while Wade hasn't come out and told Haslem what he'll do after opting out of his contract to become a free agent July 1, there have been indications that have Haslem believing the 2006 NBA Finals MVP will stay.

fast facts

Celtics 3, Lakers 3

(All games on Ch. 28)

Game 1: Lakers 102, Celtics 89

Game 2: Celtics 103, Lakers 94

Game 3: Lakers 91, Celtics 84

Game 4: Celtics 96, Lakers 89

Game 5: Celtics 92, Lakers 86

Tuesday: Lakers 89, Celtics 67

Thursday: at Los Angeles, 9

Lakers take rivalry to final chapter 06/15/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 12:35am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis


    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  2. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  3. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”
  4. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Souza being Souza.

    That seemed to be the best way to describe the entertaining — and comically bad — dive Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. attempted in Friday's game, and the good humor he showed in handling the fallout, including a standing ovation his next at-bat from the …

  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi had to battle without his best stuff again, which is becoming a more common occurrence, leading to long at-bats — including 13 pitches to Kennys Vargas in the fifth — and running up his pitch count to 118 without finishing the sixth.