Unlike Game Four, Boston did not need their bench to step up. Rajon Rondo and the big three had an easy night, offensively, against a weak Laker defense.
Kobe Bryant had a third quarter for the ages. He scored 19 points as he looked to take over the game. Ironically, the Celtics actually increased their lead while Kobe had his run. The Lakers have to feel like they missed a golden opportunity.
2008 Finals MVP Paul Pierce led the offense with 27 points. While Ron Artest did not dominate the game defensively, he played better than most of his teammates. At times, it looked as if Artest had done his job, but Pierce managed to hit fadeaway jumpers.
It looked as if the rest of the Lakers had already boarded the plane back to L.A.
It was the first time in this series that all three members of Boston's big three and Rajon Rondo played well. Kevin Garnett had 18 and grabbed a much needed 10 boards.
Ray Allen's struggles from beyond the three-point line continued. He hasn't come close to replicating his record setting Game Two. Regardless, he made close shots and reached double figures with 12 points.
The Celtics avoided their frequent offensive slumps in this game. While they have played excellent basketball since the playoffs began, they have still been prone to scoring droughts. Boston is loaded with big name scorers, and they all lived up to expectations in Game Five.
If Los Angeles wants to play a Game Seven, they will have to defend. There is no excuse for allowing Ray Allen to catch the ball unguarded underneath the basket.
The Celtics will take all the momentum with them back to Los Angeles. They already stole one game on the Lakers' home floor, now they only need to take one more in order to hang an NBA record 18th championship banner.
The Lakers need to step up as a team. Even though Kobe Bryant is great, it is safe to assume he will not score 19 points in a quarter Tuesday night.
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