Celtics Lakers Game 6

NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 6: Jordan Farmar dunks on Kevin Garnett

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Things we did not expect to see in Game 6: Jordan Farmar dunking on Kevin Garnett.

But he did in the second quarter to bump the Lakers lead up to 20. While the lead was big, this ended up still being a big play, giving the Lakers bench that had been basically nonexistent for five games a spark of confidence. Plus, it’s just a fun dunk to watch.

NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 6: Perkins goes out, Celtics go down. But is it for the count?


Thumbnail image for Perkins_hurt.jpgBoston did not lose this game at the 5:30 mark of the first quarter. When Kendrick Perkins went down the Lakers were already up 6 points, L.A. had been dominating the boards, they were shooting better, they were playing with energy and getting to the 50/50 balls.

But that moment may have cost them Game 7.

The 5:30 mark Perkins went up for a rebound, fighting for it with Lakers center Andrew Bynum — a guy already playing through a knee injury that will require surgery — and Kobe Bryant. Perkins seemed to land awkwardly and injure his knee. He had to be helped off the court and to the locker room, and he never returned. Officially, the Celtics are saying it’s a sprain, although Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that it is a sprain to both the MCL and PCL. He will undergo an MRI on Wednesday.

It will be a day and a half before any decision is made, but Doc Rivers was not optimistic.

“I don’t know. It doesn’t look great, but I don’t know,” Rivers said.

After the game Perkins was seen walking to the team bus under his own power but very stiffly, according to ESPN.com’s Ric Bucher. Perkins also said he would try to give it a go.

They need him. Without Perkins in Game 6, things opened up inside even more for a Lakers team that came out the more aggressive team, the team playing with more desperation. The Lakers were get getting into the paint on the dribble drive, getting the ball to their big men in deep. And the Lakers were getting rebounds — Los Angeles had a 12 to 5 rebound advantage after one quarter, 30 to 13 at the half.

“(Perkins is) a guy that cleans the paint up, let’s say, and not having him there made the Lakers awfully long,” Rivers said. “It also, I thought, allowed them to rest Bynum even more in the game.”

Bynum also sat out almost the entire second half because he asked out after his knee swelled up and he could barely run after halftime. Jackson said Bynum had swelling on the back of the leg that will receive treatment. But as he has all series, Bynum said he will be out there for Thursday night.

So it comes to a Game 7 where Boston may well be without their defensive force in the paint, their key rebounder, another key big body. Rivers said that either Rasheed Wallace or Glen “Big Baby” Davis would start if Perkins can’t go — he hasn’t decided — but that both will get key minutes. Sheldon Williams may get more minutes as well.

“It would be tough if (Perkins) can’t go,” Rivers said. “Somebody else is just going to have to step forward.”

Boston to a man echoed that thought. They know that road teams are 3 and 11 in NBA finals Game 7s. But nobody was expecting things to be easy because nothing has been for Boston this season.

“We went through too many ups and downs to lose like this,” Davis said. “Out of all the teams in the league we were the one that struggled. We were the one that went through the bumps and bruises. We went through the, ‘we’re old.’ We went through the ‘oh, they can’t play, they’re going to get beat by Cleveland, get beat by Orlando.’ We’re here now, in spite of what everyone else thinks.

“So you think we’re just going to let this go? No. We accept the challenge to win the championship. We want it. It’s that point blank simple. We could have gave up a long time ago. We could have gave up a long time ago and looked forward to next year. But no, we’re here. So we’re going to take it while we are here. We understand we’ve been through the ups and down and deserve it more than them.”

NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 6, halftime: Lakers 51, Celtics 31

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Perkins_hurt.jpgThis was supposed to be a close series.  It has been pretty much, up until this half.

The Lakers played much better defense than the last couple games, holding Boston to 34 percent shooting, 2 of 10 from three and just 31 first half points. Meanwhile the Lakers converted those misses into a lot of transition looks and better shooting, 47 percent overall and 4 of 9 from three.

The result is a 20-point halftime lead, 51-31 Lakers.

Just to make things worse for Boston, Kendrick Perkins had an awkward fall going for a rebound, hurt his knee and had to be helped to the locker room. He will not be back for the second half.

That means more Sheed and Big Baby, but the Celtics bench has not been the same on the left coast. The Boston bench is 0-5.

Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are a combined 13 of 27 shooting to account for 29 of the 31 points. They have shown up.

All Celtics outside the big three are 1 of 14. Doc Rivers said before the game he was not sure what to expect from his bench and role players. This has to make him a little bit sick.

Meanwhile, Jordan Farmar has played well for the Lakers, and Sasha Vujacic is hitting shots. Kobe has 15 points to lead the team, Pau Gasol has 7 points and 8 boards. And the Lakers have run the offense, not relied on the isolation that got them in trouble in Boston.

It is looking like there will be one more game. Thursday night, for all the marbles. But in this series, would a 20-point comeback surprise anyone?

NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 6: Live chat

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NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 6: Pregame notes


A few notes from inside Staples Center to tide you over until game time — and our live chat. Which you are coming back for, right? Right?!?

* Phil Jackson said to expect some action with Kobe moving off the ball to get free, and less pick-and-roll action. That is smart.

* He also said he expects his bench to step up at home. That may not be smart. Which is why he also said they are on a short leash and he will go to the starters if he has to.

* Doc said his first point of emphasis with the team was not to give up as many offensive rebounds (16) as they did last game. They got away with it at home, they will not on the road, he said.

* Rivers also said they have to cut back on the turnovers, that the Lakers are more likely to do something with those at home.

* Jackson said the Lakers defense needed to move the Celtics off their comfort spots on the floor. Basically, they let Boston get the shots it wanted.

* Both coaches said they feel good about their teams tonight. In three hours, only one will feel that way, I’m sure.