by Lang Whitaker

We’re here, but the internet isn’t. Maybe it’s my computer, I don’t know. I’ve got numerous NBA people dealing with it.

• National anthem tonight is by David Cook. Didn’t he used to play power forward for the Lakers?

• We get “Heart of the City” just before tip-off. Ain’t no love, indeed.

• Of course, Kobe gets the big cheers during introductions. I will say that it’s not nearly as loud in here as it was during Games One and Two in Boston.

• After introductions, we’re told there will be a “slight re-warm-up” for the players. I’ve still got issues. Jemele is sitting with me and her internet is screaming — I think this is all related to ESPN or Jim Rome or something. I’m begging to get wired access at this point.

• BTW, on the way to the game I noticed the closest stores to our hotel are a bail bondsman, a 24-hour Subway restaurant and a rental car place promising no age limit and no credit card requirements. Cool neighborhood.

• 2-1 early on. Tim Dongahy texted me earlier and promised the officiating would be even.

• Rondo saves a bad pass from Ray Allen by rondo’ing it off of Pau’s gasols.

• Derek Fisher drives and…blocked. Then Paul Pierce hurdles over an older gentleman and crashes to the floor, drawing wild cheers from the crowd.

• Vlad Rad swishes a three from the corner after Lamar runs someone down without a call. 6-2, L.A.

• 7:32 to go in the first, and the Lakers are up 9-2. and four Celtics starters have a foul apiece. When the NBA evens things up, they really even things up. Also doesn’t help that noo Celtics other than Perk has a field goal.

• Out of a timeout, Boston forces back-to-back turnovers and gets one three from Ray Allen to show for it. 9-5, L.A.

• I just asked if Tim Berners-Lee could come check this Internet out. Nothing so far. Kobe gets two, then Vlad Rad gets his second foul and remains inconsequential. Ronny Turiaf comes off the bench and says Bon nuit. While Joey Crawford deals with something, dueling Boston sucks! chants break out.

• Kobe creates contact and gets back to the line. 13-7, Lakers. Then D-Fish rips an elbow jumper. 15-7, Lakers, and Boston seems to be the team completely out of it.

• Kobe fakes Posey out of his shoes, nearly literally, and Kobe is called for traveling. Rondo rondo’s all the Lakers and hits Posey for three. Kobe gets two, Rondo gets a runner. 17-14, with 2:41 left. There’s a bunch of loose balls and diving around, and somehow Gasol ends up with a foul called against him. That’s the only thing he’s done since that free throw early on.

• Greatest thing at the Staples Center: Slow-mo shots of the Lakers girls on the scoreboard during timeouts.

• Posey hits two free throws to make it a 1-point game, and then Pierce is called for a foul against Vujacic, Pierce’s second foul. Pierce and KG have combined for 0 points. Sasha only hits one of the two free throws.

• PJ Brown with a hot potato jumper from the wing ties the game. KG snags a board on the other end and then Cassell hits a two to tie the game with 1 minute left.

• Non! Turiaf! Tie game, the Lakers really need a score, and they go to Turiaf?

• Leon Powe finally gets in the game, with 24 seconds left in the first. Joey Crawford whistles something with Vujacic on the line — Bostn has six men on the court? — and the crowd boos loudly, mainly because it was Joey Crawford making the call.

• OK, a wildly lackluster first quarter finally comes to an end, and it’s knotted at 20.

• The second quarter begins with a loose ball foul against Lamar Odom, his third foul. He is not having a good series, to say the least. Kobe hits a leaning jumper to take the lead. Next time down Kobe draws a foul and hits both free throws. MVP chants are breaking out as the Lakers open a 24-20 lead. Bennett Salvatore has had enough, though, and he tags Sasha with a foul.

• Right now Kobe has 15 points, and all five Celts players in the game have a combined 14.

• Jordan Farmar might be on the NKOTB tour.

• The Lakers finally run the triangle to perfection and Sasha drains a three. The fans here seem to realize that they just saw and cheer wildly. Then something goes down with PJ Brown and Jordan Farmar. Hard to see what happened from here, but I think I saw cobwebs shooting out of PJ Brown’s ears.

• When Joey Crawford goes to the table to explain the double foul on Farmar/PJ, Jack Nicholson stands and gives him an earful. Which is pretty funny.

• The Lakers are doing a really good job of spacing the floor tonight. As I type that, they end a play (out of a timeout no less) with Luke Walton going one on one against KG. Guess how that ends?

• KG has no points with 8:07 left in the second. He should be killing Turiaf. Ray Allen drains a three to make it 29-25. Then Kobe stutters to the hoop for two more. He’s got 17 and the Lakers lead by 6, 31-25. then Farmar hits a three. The Lakers are on a 14-5 run, timed about to when Lamar went out of the game.

• KG catches an old-school oop from Ray Allen and Phil Jax takes a TO. 34-27, 5:49 left in the second quarter. This is not a particularly exciting game. Seems like it’s more up the Celtics’ alley as fas as style of play. Would probably be better for Boston if Paul Pierce could score a point.

• Sasha! Dude’s hit two straight from the left wing. Then Pierce tries to get going and Walton stuffs him, but Pierce gets the ball back, drives baseline and hits a windmill layup. 38-29, L.A.

• Kobe returns and immediately drains a jumper from the same spot as Sasha’s two J’s. 40-29, L.A.

• Pierce shoots an airball, and Rondo fouls Kobe. Right now the five Lakers on the floor have a combined 2 fouls, while the five Celtics (Boston’s starters) have a combined 9 fouls.

• Perkins dunks and pumps his fist excitedly in Kobe’s face. Don’t know if he realizes that cuts it from an 11-point deficit to a 9-point deficit, but he seems really excited.

• Timeout with 2:43 to go in the second quarter. 40-31, L.A. The Lakers finally found their triangle and they’re jabbing the Celtics with it repeatedly. Interesting that they found it with Lamar on the bench.

• Kobe catches on the wing and goes back-and-forth through his legs a few times, then tries to drive past James Posey, who seems to pick him clean. Boston heads back up court and Kobe is called for a technical foul. Point taken, Kobe, but you still got ripped.

• L.A. tries using Kobe to double KG, and Boston moves the ball around and finds James Posey, who drives and gets fouled. Boston finally looked like they knew what they were doing there. 40-32, L.A.

• Anyone seen Leon Powe?

• Boston runs a pick and roll on the wing and KG ends up walking before taking the jumper. If I was a TV announcer, I’d describe KG’s game tonight as “out of sync.” If I was a Boston fan, I’d say he was sucking.

• L.A. misses another free thow and Ray Allen wets a three. 42-37 with time for one possession. Kobe drives around the entire Boston team and draws a foul Kobe misses the first and then the second. They’re getting every call but can’t make a free throw for nothing.

• Halftime. L.A. is up 43-37. Boston just 5-7 from the line, but L.A. is a miserable 12-22! Lakers coach John Calipari won’t be happy about their free throw shooting, but he’ll shrug and smile and try to gloss over it. Garnett and Pierce have combined for one less point (4) than Farmar has by himself (5), and the C’s are shooting 32 percent but are down just 6 points. Then again, the Lakers starts not named Kobe have combined for 7 points.

• The Lakers Brass Band or whatever they’re called plays “Shakedown” from the Beverly Hills Cop (2?) soundtrack.

• KG starts the second half with a massive brick that makes Khalid gasp.

• And Rondo goes down. This could be bad news for Boston. The crowd boos, suspecting some hijinks are afoot. I don’t know, but Eddie House is in for the first time.

• Lakers are playing really good individual defense and Boston seems flummoxed, especially without Rondo. Eddie House comes off a screen and bricks a house, then Ray Allen goes baseline for two. 45-39, Boston. I think everyone is waiting for Rondo to come in from the locker room.

• As Ray Allen drives for two more, cutting it to 47-43, an NBA PR person comes by and gives everyone a printout of David Stern’s comments from before the game about Tim Donaghy. And we see a shot of Rondo running circles around Michelle Tafoya in the tunnel. Guess he’s ready to return.

• Trevor Ariza checks in and nails a long jumper, which is probably bad for LA — don’t want him thinking he’s become Reggie Miller.

• Eddie House drills a three and makes it 49-47. Good possession by Boston, who missed a three and then got the board. Then Gasol got stripped, Boston tied it up, then KG hit a baseline J to give Boston the lead. Jemele points out Pierce has 4, Perkins has 4, Rondo is out…and Boston is still ahead 51-49. How much more help can Boston give the Lakers?

• Ray Allen off a screen, bang! Boston goes ahead 54-50. Scoreboard celeb watch goes: Byron Allen! Hilary Duff! Flea! Hugh Hefner! Steven Spielberg! Dustin Hoffman! Sly Stallone! Eddie Murphy! Jack Nicholson! As far as I’m concerned, the celebrities began and ended with Byron Allen.

• Lamar hooks in a three to go ahead 54-52.

• Perk is a beast! He rattles in a hook. 56-52, Boston. 3:14 to go. Ariza lays one in in transition to make it a 56-54 game. KG and House run a two man game, and KG dribbles twice left-handed then rips a long two. Then Lamar scores. The floodgates are open. Then Ray Allen gets fouled on a three by Kobe.

• Konate texted Khalid about Ray Allen’s shoes. We noticed them in the locker room pregame and couldn’t quite make out what they were — some Jordan special makeups with SUGAR RAY on the tongues.

• Bston up 61-58m 1:38 to go in the third. KG walks and shoots over a less-effective facsimile of Pau Gasol. Misses. Then Gasol whacks PJ Brown and sends him to the line.

• Gasol finally gets a bucket and cuts it to a 2-point Boston lead. KG nearly completes an amazing tip pass to PJ Brown, but Boston and L.A. trade misses to end the quarter. Boston 62, L.A. 60.

• The computer guys are here. They said something about in five minutes we should be up and running…something about a lower encryption and APs. (Access Points, I discovered.) I’m really getting to know the computer nerds of Boston and L.A. pretty well.

• Here we go. Sasha begins the third with a three to put L.A. ahead. Ray Allen answers from the corner to put Boston back ahead, 65-63. Boston is beginning the quarter with Powe, Posey, House, PJ Brown and Allen. Ugh.

• Pierce checks in and misses a jumper. 9:45 to go, Boston up 2. Lamar tries to go one-on-one with Powe and gets called for a charge. To her credit, Jemele predicted a Lamar charge in the second half. There it was. Powe hits one of two.

• Posey sends Kobe to the line. The fans chant MVP as Kobe bricks a free throw. He hits the second.

• Trying to create, Pierce is called for a charge against Farmar, his fifth foul, with 8:56 left in the game. What will happen first, Pierce fouls out or we get internet access.

• We get internet access!

• Shouts to the Staples Center internet staff. Now back to the game…

• Boston leads 66-64, with 8:20 left. And Ray Allen just gave Boston their fourth team foul. And Sasha just drained a three to make it a 1 point L.A. lead.

• And Turiaf crushes Posey while trying to be active, who makes two free throws to put Boston back ahead. Posey then makes an amazing rebound from his knees on the other end. Boston goes to KG who ends up having to fire one up at the shot clock buzzer and missing.

• Paul Pierce checks in with his five fouls in tow, 7:09 to play. Kobe gets all day to look at a three from up top and he drills it. Boston throws a sloppy alley-oop to KG who can’t do anything with it. Then Rondo fouls Fisher, the fifth team foul on Boston. Fisher to the line, 6:27 to play, and he makes both. L.A. leads 71-68.

• Pierce turns it over, then Kobe kinda gets bailed out on a call. Rondo tries to take credit for it and gets the foul, saving Pierce. Kobe hits one, two. L.A. is up 73-68, 5:58 to play. This is the loudest the crowd has been all night. Ray Allen misses a three over a triple-team, but Rajon gets the board and hits the easy jumper.

• Gasol gets a tip-in, seems like his first bucket of the night. Boston rushes a three from Allen that misses.

• L.A. is up 5 with 4:25 left, and Boston looks out of gas.

• OK, here we go. The fans are wired in here. Jack Nicholson is on his feet! Eddie Murphy just gave a ride to a transvestite!

• Pau! 77-70, L.A.

• And after a night of struggles, Paul Pierce just drove and hit a lay-up, and one. But he misses the free throw. 77-72, 3:52 to go.

• A few seconds ago, Doc put PJ Brown in for Kendrick Perkins, which seemed like an odd move, considering PJ can barely move and Perk has been pretty physical. PJ just got caught clinging to Gasol, who makes one of two. 78-72, 3:29 left.

• Pierce jumps into the air and lands with the ball, and Kobe is called on a bail-out call. I’m surprised Donaghy made that call so late.

• Becks is shown on the scoreboard. Really disappointed that Lauren Conrad isn’t here. I want celebs! Feel the rain on your skin!

• Pierce to the line, with 3:22 left in the game and Boston trailing 78-72. First shot, good. Second shot, good. 78-74, L.A.

• Gasol against PJ, and Gasol whirls and fires a two-handed shot over the glass and into the 24-second clock. Pau!

• KG takes Gasol and spins around and banks one off the glass. 78-76.

• Sasha misses a J, then Eddie House does as well.

• Sasha drills one from the corner to put L.A. up 81-76. The Celts miss and Gasol beasts his way to the board. Fisher goes to the line and makes two, putting L.A. ahead 83-76 with 1:33 left. I’d say this was over, but we all saw how Game Two ended, right?

• Alen hits KG for an easy 2. 83-78, with 1:25 left. No fouling. Kobe takes Ray Allen, shakes him, waits for him to get up and hits over him. Then House hits a three ball. 85-81, :53 seconds left.

• Kobe runs the clock down and gets two with 38 seconds left. Kobe Bryant is The Closer!

• Offensive foul on KG, with 21.1 left. OK, this game is dunzo…although Lamar just punctuated it with an extra offensive foul, which was fun.

L.A. wins, 87-81.

The rest is still unwritten.