2008 NBA Playoffs: NBA Finals, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics, Game 5

Information about game 5 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

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GAME 5: L.A. Lakers 103 - Boston Celtics 98

Odom and Gasol show up and it's not over yet.

Leaders Points Rebounds Assists
Lakers 25: Bryant 13: Gasol 6: Gasol
Celtics 38: Pierce 14: Garnett 8: Pierce
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
LAL 39 16 24 24 103
BOS 22 30 18 28 98
click for Lakers 2008 Playoff pictures (LA Daily News), NBA Finals Game 5
Picture Gallery (LADN)

June 15, 2008 - STAPLES CENTER - LOS ANGELES. --- The Celtics wanted to win their 17th championship at L.A. but that won't happened because the Lakers showed some pride to win the game 103-98 giving the first step to try their own historic comeback. Now the Celtics lead 3-2 with the final two games to be played at Boston.

At some point it looked like a replay of game 4 with the Lakers unable to sustain a big margin, only this time they showed character to fight until the end.

Kobe Bryant scored 15 of his 25 points in the first quarter, making 4 of 5 three-point shots as L.A. outscored Boston 39-22. Almost one minute into the second quarter Sasha Vujacic's 22-footer gave the Lakers a 43-24 lead. But after the previous bad experience, 19 points didn't sound enough and in fact it looked as if history was repeating with the Celtics going on a 15-0 run with 11 points from Paul Pierce who played all the minutes of the game, was almost unstoppable and ended with 38 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists. Odom's layup with 4:11 left in the half ended L.A.'s 7-minute drought. Boston won the period 30-16 and went to halftime with a small 3-point deficit.

Rajon Rondo's 19-footer gave the Celtics a 62-60 lead with 8:26 left in the third quarter but for the first time in these finals the Lakers kept their composure in such a period. Gasol answered with a short turnaround and then a three-point play to put the Lakers ahead 65-62. The Lakers will never trail again.

Despite Kobe going cold after the first quarter (finished just 8-of-21 with 6 turnovers) the other Lakers did a good job. Odom, who had disappeared in the second half of game 4, attacked the basket strong and ended with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Pau Gasol was a presence in the post with 19 points and 13 rebounds and was a key piece in the Lakers victory by getting Kevin Garnett into early foul trouble allowing the team to punish Boston under the basket. With Garnett trying to avoid committing more fouls and the absence of injured center Kendrick Perkins, Gasol and Odom dominated the paint and combined to make 14 of 20 shots. Derek Fisher had 15 points and at some point shared the floor with his reserve Jordan Farmar who had 11.

The Lakers 9-point lead entering the fourth quarter grew to 14 three minutes later but again the Celtics charged with 16-2 run to tie for the last time, 90-90 with 4:35 to go. Lakers fans were really suffering when with barely less than a minute left Pierce was commanding an offense with a chance to tie, but Bryant appeared from behind, knocked the ball away to Odom who fed him in a fast break for a slam dunk and the play of the game. It was Kobe's fifth steal of the night and his third in the period.

Still, the suffering hasn't ended, after Kobe missed one of two free throws with 16 seconds left, Eddie House nailed a 3-pointer to make it 101-98 with 14 seconds left. The same House then nearly stole the inbounds pass, but Bryant, went to the floor for the ball and got it to Fisher, who after a desperation foul made two free throws and stole Boston’s last pass.

Ray Allen had 16 points points and Kevin Garnett added 13 points and 14 rebounds, but no other Celtic scored more than 10. Coach Doc Rivers is playing Eddie House (6 points) and Sam Cassell (9 points) in place of second-year starting point guard Rajon Rondo who had 3 points and played only 14 minutes in part because the ankle he twisted in game 3 is still bothering but mostly because he's not taking advantage of the situation when Kobe Bryant who is guarding him, systematically and by design goes to double other players leaving him shot whenever he wants.

The Lakers will try to make history since no team has ever recovered from a 1-3 deficit in the Finals or won Games 6 and 7 on the road since the NBA went to the 2-3-2 Finals format in 1985.

The Quotes

Phil Jackson (LAL Coach): "We were aggressive. We played hard, not smart all the time, but we played hard."... "I went in at halftime and said, 'Thank God we don't have a [large] lead because we just don't know what to do with it,' "

Kobe Bryant (Lakers): "We’ve won on the road before, we’ve played in tough environments before."... "If you told us in training camp that we were two wins from an NBA championship, we would take that in a heartbeat."

Lamar Odom (Lakers): "We didn’t want to see any champagne popping, It wasn’t easy. I wouldn’t expect it to be.”

Doc Rivers (Celtics): "Overall they were the more physical... we talked about it before the game, this was going to be a game about who can invade the other person's space, and they invaded our space."

Highlights

Los Angeles Lakers Boston Celtics
Leaders: Pts Reb Ast St Bl
Kobe Bryant 25 7 4 5 -
Lamar Odom 20 11 2 - 4
Pau Gasol 19 13 6 1 2
Derek Fisher 15 2 2 2 -
Jordan Farmar 11 1 1 1 1
Leaders: Pts Reb Ast St Bl
Paul Pierce 38 6 8 1 -
Ray Allen 16 2 2 - 1
Kevin Garnett 13 14 - 2 -
Sam Cassell 9 1 2 - -
Eddie House 6 1 2 - -

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