2008 NBA Playoffs: NBA Finals, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics, Game 1

Information about game 1 of the L.A. Lakers vs. Boston Celtics series in the 2008 NBA Playoffs, with score, recap, pictures, stats, highlights, quotes and Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol performance.

2008 NBA Playoffs NBA Finals
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics

Series Index:

Game 1: Celtics 98, Lakers 88 at Boston Game recap & pictures
Game 2: Celtics 108, Lakers 102 at Boston   Game recap & pictures
Game 3: Lakers 87, Celtics 81 at Los Angeles   Game recap & pictures
Game 4: Celtics 97, Lakers 91 at Los Angeles   Game recap & pictures
Game 5: Lakers 103, Celtics 98 at Los Angeles   Game recap & pictures
Game 6: Celtics 131, Lakers 92 at Boston   Game recap & pictures

Back to Playoffs 2008

GAME 1: L.A. Lakers 88 - Boston Celtics 98

Pierce "injury" sparks Celtics in game 1.

Leaders Points Rebounds Assists
Lakers 24: Bryant 8: Gasol 6: Fisher/Bryant
Celtics 24: Garnett 13: Garnett 7: Rondo
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
LAL 21 30 22 15 88
BOS 23 23 31 21 98
click for Lakers 2008 Playoff pictures (LA Daily News), NBA Finals Game 1
Picture Gallery (LADN)

June 5 - TD BANKNORTH GARDEN - BOSTON. --- Finally the memories of Magic and Bird, Kareem and Parish can have a break and after 21 years the Lakers and Celtics saw their faces in the Finals for the 11th time. The first chapter went to Boston 98-88.

The Celtics played strong defense, dominated the boards and made the rivals sweat for every point. The Lakers in general and Kobe Bryant in particular never found rhythm. Kobe got 24 points but had a bad shooting night, forcing a lot shots to end 9-for-26 from the field. His way to the basket was always closed and his mid-range jumper didn't fall.

Despite Kobe's bad night and the team's inability to stop Kevin Garnett or grab rebounds, the Lakers managed to stay in the game until 5 minutes into the third quarter when they went up 62-58 .

Then emotional moments of the game were provided by Paul Pierce who was was deep in the lane trying to stop Kobe with 6:49 left in the third quarter when teammate Kendrick Perkins crashed into him from behind. Pierce started yelling out in pain and had to be carried off the court by his teammates in front of a horrified crowd and then was taken to the locker room in a wheelchair.

Everything looked a little bit exaggerated when he returned a couple of minutes later ready to play, but he received a big ovation and the situation seemed to distract the Lakers and spark the Celtics reaction. Pierce, a six-time All-Star and a key player for the the Celtics hopes, had scored 11 points before his injury, but drilled a pair of 3-pointers from the same spot in just 22 seconds late in the quarter, driving the Celtics to a 77-73 edge going into the fourth. He finished with 22 points.

Boston quickly pushed the lead to eight in the fourth. Fisher and Sasha Vujacic scored to get the Lakers to 86-82, but Pierce countered with a jumper and made two free throws to put Boston up 90-82.

The Lakers again got within six, but Garnett, followed up a miss by James Posey, climbed to the skies and with a ferocious dunk sealed Boston’s win. Garnett had a great first half where he completely dominated Pau Gasol but previously to that dunk had missed nine shots in a row. He scored 24 points and Ray Allen added 19 for the Celtics.

Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol had 15 points apiece and Lamar Odom added 14 for the Lakers.

The Quotes

Phil Jackson (LAL Coach): "We didn't get after the ball on the board and opportunities that were there for us, they did a much better job on the boards. That's the difference in the ballgame."... ""I said to him (Kobe), check it out, he had some guys open in other parts of the offense, but he said he had some good looks. You live on that. That's going to happen.""

Kobe Bryant (Lakers): "They're going to be determined and not let me get to the paint, particularly in the half court. Those little mid-range jumpers that I get, I've got to knock those in."

Paul Pierce (Celtics): .“I thought that was it. I thought I tore something; that’s the way I felt at the time. Usually when I go down, I’m getting right back up, but it was an instance where I turned my knee and it popped, and I was just in pain where I couldn't move.”

Highlights

Los Angeles Lakers Boston Celtics
Leaders: Pts Reb Ast St Bl
Kobe Bryant 24 3 6 1 1
Pau Gasol 15 8 4 1 1
Derek Fisher 15 4 6 3 -
Lamar Odom 14 6 1 1 -
Sasha Vujacic 8 2 1 - -
Leaders: Pts Reb Ast St Bl
Kevin Garnett 24 13 3 1 -
Paul Pierce 22 4 2 1 -
Ray Allen 19 8 5 1 1
Rajon Rondo 15 5 7 - -
Sam Cassell 8 - 1 1 -

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