Game Three of the NBA Finals was quite a roller coaster ride.
The matchup—pitting two of the greatest NBA franchises in the history of the game in the Boston Celtics against the Los Angeles Lakers—was like a see-saw ride all night long.
For Boston fans, though, it was to no avail—as the Celtics walked off the hardwood disappointed in a tough setback to the Lakers, 91-84.
With L.A.’s win, Kobe Bryant and company take a 2-1 lead in the 2010 NBA Finals.
But let's quickly look back at those final—and pivotal—couple minutes of Game Three, and how important the new “instant replay rule” came into play this evening.
At one moment, you have the Boston crowd booing after an instant replay reversed an out of bounds call with under two minutes to go—giving the ball to L.A.
Next possession, you have a jump-ball call being reversed and giving the ball to the Celtics in a crucial situation.
Soon thereafter, the Lakers took what seemed to be an insurmountable lead.
But Boston battled back.
First, Kevin Garnett scored and got fouled before missing the free throw and having the ball go out of bounds to L.A.
Wait, though, let's replay that call to make sure it’s right.
Sure enough, the call is reversed again—albeit correctly—giving the ball back to the Celtics with a huge chance and down by five.
However, Boston missed their opportunities (time after time) to get back into the game.
And with those misses, L.A. now has a 2-1 lead in this best-of-seven series.
Regardless, the trio of calls—all reversed—were the right calls.
With them, the Celtics had a chance to make a game of things on their home court.
But they failed to do so.
Hopefully, at least for Boston fans, the Celtics can regroup and reignite before a must-win Game Four on Thursday night.
One thing is certain after this nail-biting game: Instant replay is a damn good thing in the NBA.
Are you listening, Major League Baseball?
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org