With Kobe faltering in the fourth quarter, Derek Fisher took over and lead the Lakers to a 91-84 victory over the Lakers and give Los Angeles a 2 game to one series lead. Derek Fisher scored 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, including a dagger of a layup late in the quarter. Fisher helped prevent the Lakers from blowing a 17-point lead then afterwards teared up in the post-game sideline interview with Doris Burke.
I'm calling BS on those tears by Fisher. He lives in Los Angeles so I'm sure he has taken acting classes. Let's take a look at some of the other highlights of the game.
1) Can you have a positive and negative affect on your team in a single series? Well Ray Allen proved last night you can have that effect. For how well Ray Allen played in Game 2 is how bad Ray Allen played in Game 3. Allen's stat line from last night: 42 minutes, 0-for-13 from the field (0-for-8 from downtown, 0-for-5 on two-pointers), 2-for-2 from the line, 2 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, and a plus-minus score of -10. Oof!
2) Paul Pierce predicted the series won't be going back to Los Angeles after the Game 2 win. Did Pierce also predict that he would be a disappearing act in the NBA Finals? Pierce was 5-for-12 and scored 15 points last night and 13-for-36 through the first three games. The 2008 Finals MVP has been contained in the series by Ron Artest, despite Ron's own offensive problems he's been huge on defense, and too some degree Luke Walton last night. Celtics need more from Pierce if they want to win this series.
3) Allen's performance last night was indicative on the Celtics performance in general in the Finals. After games 1 and 2 the story was Kevin Garnett's disappearance. Last night it was Ray Allen. The Celtics haven't gotten a complete team effort in the entire playoffs. It was either Rondo making plays or Pierce or Allen, but never on the same night. The Celtics can't win this series if they don't get a complete effort from the entire team.
Basketbawful has been critical of Doc Rivers rotation throughout the playoffs. Rivers lack thereof rotation has come back to bite the Celtics in the ass. Rondo, Pierce, and Allen have all been averaging 40 minutes a night in the playoffs and it showed last night. All three guys looked flat last night. With both Pierce and Allen in their 30's now, their old legs haven't been able to handle all of the minutes. It'll be interesting to see who looks flat in Game 4. My guess, Kevin Garnett.
Pictures of the Night