Every once in a while, I like to provide bite-size instant analysis and commentary on a big game by live-tweeting. You can find my archive on Twitter at @TimCaryLIVE ; here's a collection of my real-time thoughts on tonight's Lakers-Cavaliers showdown as it unfolded.
Marv Albert, Mike Fratello, & Reggie Miller on the TNT broadcast. Takes Marv all of 37 seconds or so to mention "possible Finals preview".
Is it just me or do the Cavs have 82 different uniforms 4 the 82 regular-season games? Almost as extravagant as Conan's $1.5 mill comedy bit!
Kobe scores his first hoop 15 seconds in. And you thought individual showdowns meant nothing to him. #sarcasm
50 seconds in, Kobe's up to 5 points. At this pace, he'll have...ah, never mind, I'm too tired for math right now. #crazyhotstart
LeBron gets an "and-1", dribbling around Lakers like they were standing still. O yeah, I remember-they were. Quit doubling Shaq, double LBJ.
Artest matched up on LeBron right now. LBJ surprisingly content to hang out 28 ft from rim & watch the Cavs work thru Shaq. That won't last.
I just saw Shaq make a pair of freethrows. Time 2 cross 1 more thing off my bucket list of incredible sports events I never thought I'd see.
Okay, so KB & Gasol are both 2-4 from the floor, but Gasol is supposed to be money on mid-range jumper. Not used to seeing him miss there.
Does Shaq have about 225 pounds on Bynum or is it just me? #poorandrew
Kobe continues aggressive approach in 1st quarter, rattling in a J. He's 3-6 from the floor now. LBJ answers w/ assist to Hickson for jam.
Odom on the floor & picks up a quick assist on Kobe's fast-break three-pointer. And LO's triple-double watch has started. LA by a touchdown.
Good sequence for Lakers. Doubled LeBron, made him give the ball to Varejao, who missed, and Kobe knocks down a jumper at other end.
12 minutes gone. Lakers lead 27-18 after 1st quarter. Cavs fans have yet to throw foam fingers on the floor. That's about it. Back shortly.
Good news for Lakers: Mo Williams isn't playing. Bad news for Lakers: Daniel Gibson is. Gibson triple cuts the LA lead to 27-21.
LeBron three-point play. Kobe swishes a turnaround jumper. Bryant closing in on 25K. You know what? These two guys appear to be pretty good.
Shannon Brown misses a pull-up on fast break. With the way Kobe's shooting, Brown should be passing to him at that point. Esp. if SB misses!
Kobe sits down and Artest immediately hits a three-pointer. Offensive balance...amazing!
Ilgauskas just got 17 offensive rebounds on one possession. Okay, close to 17. Z finally scores and Cavs are back within seven.
Odom picked up LeBron the last trip down. I actually like that matchup for the Lakers if LO gets help inside. His length forced a tough shot
Nice tiptoe act by Lamar on the sideline as he tried to corral the loose ball; referees reward effort & Lakers get possession.
Shaq has already hit Bynum with more elbows (on offensive moves) than LeBron has rings.
Bynum picks up his 3rd foul w/ more than 5 minutes left in 1st half. We already said Shaq had 225 lbs on him; he must have 275 lbs on Gasol!
And that is how you DON'T defend a 2-on-2 break. #lakers #maybephiljacksoncanstarthandingoutDEFENSEbookstohisplayers
Kobe Bryant just became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 25,000 points. That's a nice career right there.
According to the referee, Shaq fouled Gasol on that jump hook. The referee's opinion was a distinct minority in Quicken Loans Arena. #cavs
I mentioned earlier that I thought Odom on LeBron is a good matchup 4 Lakers. Kobe guarded LBJ this trip; not a good matchup 4 LA that time.
DJ Mbenga is playing in the game. That wasn't how I expected the Lakers' rotation to go. #understatementoftheseason
Lakers play 2-for-1 better than anybody. Kobe missed 2 shots, but Odom tipped in miss to extend visitors' lead to 4.
Halftime in Cleveland. LA 46-44, Kobe has 20 pts, while LeBron has 18. I love the handful of NBA games that feel like playoffs; this is one.
Back underway at the Q. Cavs have ball first trying to cut into a two-point lead. Artest matched up on LeBron once again.
Gasol gets a touch and a hoop for the Lakers on their first possession of the half. Look for LA to feature bigs more prominently in 2nd half
LeBron just got a layup. Defense for LA somewhere between invisible and non-existent. Sigh.
Gasol again for the Lakers. LA working through whichever post player O'Neal isn't matched up with, & Gasol has delivered so far in 2nd half.
Kobe's miss hit the rim three different times before falling harmlessly away; are there consolation points available for that rare feat?
Anthony Parker knocks down wide-open 3 for Cavs, Kobe answers, attacks the rim & draws a foul on LBJ. KB wants to respond to every CLE hoop.
AND-ONE for LeBron. The stars have come to shine tonight, as Kobe and LeBron are trading big-time moves.
Fisher with a three, Shaq with a layup at the other end. Anyone else reminded of the over-40 league at your local YMCA?
Shaq scores again vs. Gasol. I think I'd bring Bynum back, even w/ 4 fouls. CLE will go through Bron at crunch time even if AB's fouled out.
Memo to Lakers; don't consistently leave Anthony Parker wide open in his favorite corner. Okay? Thanks.
LA playing from behind for first time tonight after getting out to an early 9-0 lead. Cavs 60-59 with 4 minutes to play in 3rd.
Kobe called for traveling. Let me repeat that. Best NBA player was called for steps in a league where traveling's non-existent. 4 steps? 5?
Cavs going high ball screen for LeBron on every trip to try and get rid of Artest. That time, Lakers helped and Ilgauskas hit corner triple.
Kobe just gave Anthony Parker the "you-can't-guard-me" spin and fadeaway. Don't worry, Anthony, it happens to everybody. #mvpofdecade
LeBron answers Kobe's long jumper with one of his own. Anything you can do...
Ron Artest and Zyrdunas Ilgauskas were playing volleyball in the lane for that rebound. Yeah, my money's on Z.
LeBron & Kobe barely miss on final trips of 3rd quarter. Cavs will take a 2-point lead into the final quarter. Whoever has ball last wins?
Shaq right at Bynum and scores to even the game at 71. Did O'Neal find the fountain of youth during his pregame meal? Big night for Shaq.
Back and forth we go; Cavs and Lakers trade triples. I'm sticking by the "last team with the ball" prediction.
Luke Walton, NBA players don't miss from that close to the rim when they're that wide open. Just so you know.
BYNUM STUFFS SHAQ! Congrats Andrew, after u let the 44-yr-old make a move on you 8 straight trips, you finally figure out how to defend him!
LeBron back in & scores, Kobe NOT back in & despite his amazing talent, KB hasn't yet figured out how to score while sitting on the bench.
Lakers too focused on Shaq down low (understandably so) & the kick-out results in a wide-open three for LeBron. Not quite how LA drew it up.
LA back with their starting lineup for final 5:15. Will it be Kobe one-on-five trying to win the game offensively? (bad recipe for Lakers)
LeBron scores again as shot clock runs down. Didn't we sign Artest so he could guard him? Lakers don't have an answer for LBJ @ crunch time.
Kobe misses a crazy fallaway 30-footer as shotclock expired (off a loose ball) and the Cavs' fans can smell victory. CLE by 5 w/ the ball.
Artest keeps Lakers close by draining a 3 after Kobe misses badly. Lakers claw within four. Can they get enough stops? i.e. double LeBron!
2 minutes to play. Kobe attacks off the screen & will earn a pair of free throws. LA can score enough points to win, still comes down to D.
LeBron just threw the ball out of bounds. Simply trying to help TNT with the whole "we know drama" slogan?
Kobe ties it! Lakers benefit from a better supporting cast, in my opinion; Cavs at least have to respect other four players on floor
Final minute; LeBron continues his trend of driving to the rim while Lakers players stand still. They say defense wins championships, right?
Gasol just picked a really bad time to miss 2 freebies. Down 2, 24 seconds to go, those points would have been nice to have. #understatement
LeBron lip-syncing during the timeout. Now I've seen it all. And I don't want to see it again anytime soon, while we're on the topic.
Cavs decided to put the ball in LeBron's hands, not Shaq, to make crunch free throws. No idea why.
LeBron splits the pair, Varejao gets fouled going for the off. rebound, and his two free throws put the Lakers down 5. That'll do it, folks.
Oh, and is Kobe shooting a 29-foot three-pointer off one foot & trying to bank it the best shot the defending champs can get @ crunch time?
Final score: Cleveland Cavaliers 93, Los Angeles Lakers 87. Thanks for following!
Note: If you're as interested as I am in the intersection of sports coverage & social media, contact me about livetweeting your team, school, or game sometime! Follow me on Twitter at @TimCaryLIVE or @TimCary .