2008 NBA Playoffs: NBA Finals, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics, Game 2
Information about game 2 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
GAME 2: L.A. Lakers 102 - Boston Celtics 108
Lakers almost made history, but fell short.
June 8 - TD BANKNORTH GARDEN - BOSTON. --- The Lakers fell apart in the third quarter, then in the 8 final minutes of the game almost erase a 24-point deficit, but ran out of time and what could have been an historic comeback became just another loss at Boston, 108-102. This way the Lakers go down 0-2 in the best-of-7 series, with the next 3 games on their home floor, where they haven’t lost since March 28.
Again, the Lakers players got into early foul trouble, particularly Radmanovic and Odom. The referees seemed to be very sensible to any contact against anything green but weren't so strict when the jersey was purple. That created a sense of impotence between the Lakers and made Phil Jackson furious.
Based on 14 free throws in the second quarter the Celtics went to halftime up 54-42. The Lakers were rewarded with 2 free throws in the first half, and one of them came from a technical foul. Boston attempted 38 free throws in the game to just 10 for Los Angeles.
With 4:30 left in the third the Lakers reduced to 9 a margin that has been as big as 16, but after a timeout the Celtics closed the quarter with a 15-2 run that included the final 6 points from reserve Leon Powe to make it 83-61. In the fourth quarter Phil Jackson's team lived what might have been the lowest point of their playoff experience when Powe went coast-to-coast for a dunk and four Lakers just saw him past by.
The Lakers trailed by 24 points (95-71) with 7:55 remaining and everything was headed to an embarrassing loss, with Celtics fans and even players dancing with big smiles. But the Lakers didn't give up and used a 31-9 run to pull to 104-102 on two free throws by Kobe with 38.4 seconds left and the happy faces suddenly became panic faces.
Despite the big effort, the seconds disappeared, and L.A. never had a possession with a chance to tie. Pierce made two free throws, then blocked a 3-pointer by Sasha Vujacic, and James Posey made two free throws with 12.6 seconds left. Led by Kobe Bryant who had 13 of his 30 points and 5 of his 8 assists in the final quarter, the Lakers had scored 41points on the NBA's top defense, tying a finals record of 7seven 3-pointers in a quarter. But it wasn't enough and at the end the Celtics had what they wanted, to keep their home court alive.
There was no images of Paul Pierce being taken out in a wheelchair in this game, in fact the Celtics top scorer didn't looked injured at all leading the way with 28 points that included all his 4 three-point attempts. As usual Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen did their part with 17 points each. Garnett also took 14 rebounds and point guard Rajon Rondo had a career-high 16 assists, third best in Finals history for a Celtic. But Boston's secret weapon was Leon Powe who scored 21 points from the bench in 15 minutes of play and was particularly efficient when his team built the big lead.
Only three teams in league history have come back from 2-0 deficits to win the NBA Finals but one of then was not so long ago when the Miami Heat led by Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade defeated the Mavericks 4-2 in 2006.
Phil Jackson (LAL Coach): “I'm more struck at the fact that Leon Powe gets more foul shots than our whole team does in 14 minutes of play, I’ve never seen a game like that in all these years I’ve coached in the finals,. Unbelievable.” / Asked if fourth quarter momentum could be carried to L.A. "It's 2,500 miles away, It's too far to carry it."
Kobe Bryant (Lakers): "We've come too far to really sweat being down, 2-0. We're going to go home and handle our business."
Doc Rivers (Celtics coach): "We’ve got to play through the game for 48 minutes, and I didn’t think we did that, I thought we got cute when we got the lead
Kevin Garnett (Celtics): "We’re happy because we won, but we definitely learned a lesson"