These are raw, unedited notes of NBA Finals Game 5, taken live as the game happened. Check our site’s front page for the usual recap page.
Starting Celtics center Kendrick Perkins isn’t playing. Leon Powe started in his place. Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is playing, but hurt, and will probably have limited minutes.
The Lakers have come out like they did in Game 4 and have an 18-5 lead at 6:27 in the first quarter. No Celtics did much of everything, and virtually every Laker did what they do when playing well.
Rajon Rondo passed up an open layup for no reason.
At 2:40 the Lakers lead 29-15. Kobe Bryant (5-of-8) had 15 points.
At 1:08 Kevin Garnett got his second foul. PJ Brown enters for him.
Celtics turnover resulted in open Sasha Vujacic dunk.
End of first quarter: Lakers 39, Celtics 22.
Chris Mihm is playing! And gets two quick fouls and then shoots an airball.
Paul Pierce has 11. Lakers lead 43-28.
Why is Mihm playing over Ronny Turiaf?
Lakers bench is blowing it. Fueled by Pierce blowing by every defender, Celtics cut 19 point lead to 11 at 9:10.
Tony Allen is in and hits a short flip-in shot.
At 7:37 Gasol shot, KG reached, appeared to get all ball, but got called for his 3rd foul.
Pierce is owning whoever guards him. And then hits a three to cut the Lakers lead to 4. Celtics on 15-0 run.
Celtics have totally turned their defense up, Lakers are rattled.
PJ Brown, James Posey doing good dirty work.
Tony Allen, who does still exist, has 6.
Lakers finally score at 4:03, take a 45-39 lead.
Kobe isn’t creating for teammates. Gasol is, these last few minutes.
Jordan Farmar airball three. But swishes a three seconds later.
Ray Allen looks slow, even when he scores.
Odom scoring, with help from Gasol.
Pierce, who played every first half minute, hits a three for 21 points.
Lakers 55, Celtics 52 at the half.
The Lakers, for the second game in a row, started great, then proceeded to just stand around as the Celtics stepped up their defense. The Celtics had the better bench this half. And Rajon Rondo is still limited by injury.
First half stats: Both teams shot around 50% but the Celtics were more efficient from three-point range. Very few free throws for either team. The Lakers grabbed 5 more rebounds. Assists and turnovers were close.
For the Lakers: Kobe took 12 shots for 15 points, Lamar Odom shot 5-of-6 for 11 with 7 rebounds but 3 turnovers, Pau Gasol shot 3-of-4 for 9 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, and Jordan Farmar on 6 shots had 7.
For the Celtics: Pierce on just 12 shots had 21 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists, Ray Allen on 5 shots had 9, Kevin Garnett, in foul trouble and only playing 11 minutes, had 8 points and almost nothing else.
PJ Brown started in the third quarter for the Celtics, with Leon Powe on the bench. I agree with this move. Powe’s good for scoring punch off the bench. Brown is better as a role player alongside starters. And, Garnett, playing with 3 fouls, is finally back in.
Ray Allen missed a three, Vladimir Radmanovic got the rebound, but Rondo stripped it, giving the Celtics another possession that eventually resulted in an Allen three, tying the game at 57 all.
Guarded by Kobe, Pierce draws a foul from the right elbow. Paul’s been awesome. And a free throw of his puts the Celtics up one.
A scramble resulted in Kobe getting a loose offensive rebound and scoring in the paint, plus a reach-in foul on Pierce.
KG scores down low in isolation against Gasol.
At 8:46 Pierce draw an offensive foul on Kobe. It’s Bryant’s 3rd foul. Score is tied at 60.
PJ Brown is doing nice hustle-work for Boston.
Rondo hit a deep, wide open left-corner two, but then was just as open a minute later and missed it.
Pierce continues to drive past whoever pretends to guard him. This time he went past Radmanovic just like I go past my ex girlfriend Angelina Jolie when she begs with me to get back together. Sorry, I’m with Victoria’s Secrets models now.
At 6:04 Ray Allen was guarding Kobe, who went right past him but crashed into Pierce. That’s Kobe’s 4th foul. He’s taken 15 shots for 18 points and not much else.
The Lakers offense sometimes seem to stop when Odom gets the ball. He hesitates more than desired.
At 5:17 Kobe tossed it to Derek Fisher in the right corner, who faked Rondo, took a step in, drew contact from Rondo and hit the shot, plus a free throw, putting the Lakers up 4. Next play, Radmanovic hit an open three from the left corner, resulting in a Celtics timeout.
Sam Cassell, hitting his first shot, pulls the Celtics to within 4 at 2:45. But then he misses yet again, as he was doing earlier.
At 2:35 Gasol caught a pass right under the basket, spun to put it in, and KG swooped in to block it, but he got wrist. That’ Garnett’s 4th foul.
Fisher had a wide open three from the left corner that would have put the Lakers up 9, but he missed.
Luke Walton comes in, flips it to Odom, who scores in the paint.
Eddie House drives, then fires it up top to no one, resulting in a turnover and an annoyed Pierce.
Luke Walton can’t even pretend to guard Pierce.
End of third quarter: 79, Celtics 70.
The Lakers finally won a third quarter, outscoring the Celtics 24-18.
For the game, the Lakers are shooting 48.3%, the Celtics 43.3%. Threes and free throws are almost even. The Lakers are rebounding a bit better. Both teams are throwing the ball away. Pierce has 26 points and 6 assists on 18 shots. Ray Allen has 16, Garnett 10. For the Lakers, four players have between 11 and 18 points.
This is it. The Lakers must win or watch a championship trophy be handed to the Celtics in Los Angeles.
The Lakers start the quarter strong. An Odom three put them up 12, resulting in a Celtics timeout.
Pierce drives on Kobe, uses his body well, and puts in a layup.
At 10:00 Gasol blocked a Ray Allen driving layup, secured the loose ball, but then started falling out of bounds and it appeared Ray Allen grabbed the ball, but a foul was called on Allen. The excited crowd has no complaint. I saw no foul being committed.
And then a play later, Gasol came up with a loose ball. Back down the court, Walton hit an open short jumper, putting the Lakers up 88-74 at 9:05.
Sam Cassell posts up against Farmar and hits a cool short-range turnaround J. It was sweet.
A few plays later, Cassell, up top, faked, got Farmar to leave his feet, but then as Farmar landed Cassell jumped into him, drawing a foul plus the shot. Lakers lead by 9.
Kobe, creating his own shot, nails a jumper from inside the top of the key.
Cassell misses a shot, KG gets an offensive rebound, gives it back to Cassell, who drives for a layup. He’s on fire!
Kobe again forces a shot on his own, over Pierce, missing it. Then Walton pressures Pierce around halfcourt, falls down, Pierce trips over him, and a foul is called on Walton, putting Pierce on the line. Phil Jackson takes Walton out. And now at 6:22 the Lakers lead 90-83.
The Celtics are guarding Kobe extremely well. He isn’t creating much of anything.
At 5:47 Pierce drives, falls down, holds on, and flips it out to James Posey, who nails a three from the left corner. Celtics on a 12-2 run. It’s a 4-point game.
At 4:34 Pierce drives, gets close to the rim, and flips it back to Garnett, who swishes a free throw area jumper, tying the game. Next play, Gasol, operating alone inside against KG, bangs a bit and uses his height to flip it in. Next play, KG gets fouled and will attempt his first free throws of the night.
At 3:38, Gasol and Garnett were bumping, and Garnett’s arms were around Gasol for a second, though it didn’t look like a real hold. But KG got called for foul. It was away from the ball.
Kobe finally does something, dishing nicely to Odom inside, who gets fouled.
At 2:52 the Lakers are up 2. And Gasol drew a foul, but blew the free throws.
Kobe penetrated, got fouled on the drive, but dished to Odom, who was fouled after the whistle by Posey, angering Lamar a bit. Nothing happened, though. Kobe’s free throws put the Lakers up 4 with 2:15 to go in the game.
Pierce goes inside, misses, Celtics get some tips, but Odom comes away with the rebound. Fans rise to their feet.
Kobe, guarded by Ray Allen, forces a tough contested shot, misses, but Gasol keeps it alive. Kobe dribbles for a while and again forces a tough contested shot, from outside against Posey, missing it. And then Odom got called for the foul as Pierce was trying to secure the defensive rebound, sending Paul to the line. Pierce hits both. Lakers up two, 1:08 left.
Kobe drives, is again well-guarded, ball goes to Derek Fisher, who misses.
Pierce handles the ball up top, but Kobe tips it from behind then takes off, catches a long pass, and slams it with two hands, making it 99-95 with 37 seconds left. That’s Bryant’s 5th steal of the game.
Ray Allen drives, misses, Garnett tips but misses, and the Lakers get control, up 4, with 25 seconds left.
The Lakers inbound to Derek Fisher, who the Celtics foul. But Fisher misses the first. Celtics insert PJ Brown. Fisher hits the second. Lakers up 5.
Eddie House misses a very open shot. Ray Allen fouls out. Kobe at the line. Lakers now up 6. Timeout.
House fires again and this time nails a wild three, making it a three-point game. Then the Lakers almost turn it over, but get lucky and recover. Fisher gets fouled. He hits both, making it 103-98 Lakers. And then Fisher steals the inbounds pass, ending it.
Final score: Lakers 103, Celtics 98.
Pierce finished with 38 in the loss.
The Celtics now lead the Finals 3 games to 2. The series now moves to Boston for Game 6. And if there’s a Game 7 it’ll also be in Boston.
Final recap and final stats coming later tonight.
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