by Lang Whitaker

FIRST QUARTER

Long story, but we’re here and the game is on. There’s 6:34 to go in the first and LA is up 13-8. More coming…

• 2 minutes left in the first. The wireless internet here is worse than our rental car. Lakers up 19-18, and way ahead on points in the paint, 14-8.

• Schilling, Antoine Walker, Big Papi in the house.

• One funny thing: Ben and I were late to our seats, and there was a fan sitting in my seat, which was tagged SLAM, and I had to ask her to move. She did, though why she was in the press box I have no idea. Then Ben arrived and there was a columnist of record from one of the big newspapers of record in his seat, and when Ben asked Dude to move the guy gave Ben a dirty look. Hilarious.

• I spent the entire fist quarter explaining to about a dozen employees that the wireless internet doesn’t work up here, except for that 5 minute burst early on. Right now it’s still not on, I’m writing not in Word with hopes of getting online at some point.

SECOND QUARTER

• Second quarter begins with…never mind, couldn’t watch the game because I ad to explain to yet another FleetCenterNorthGarden employee that their internet sucks.

• 10:43 to go. Posey with the steal, and Turiaf takes out Leon Powe. A minute later he takes out Powe again. At least Powe is taking it to the rim.

• Note to self: Ask Pascal if “Turiaf” is French for “Foul.”

• Pierce winds up a three from the wing to give Boston a 30-22 lead. Timeout. Antoine Walker is salivating on the sideline.

• They just brought Will Hunting in here to fix our internet, and he did it, actually. I wish he could sit with us for the rest of the game.

• (I’m totally going to download some illegal songs and movies to mess with their internet, though.)

• Out of a timeout, Kobe holds and drains a J over Posey. Bad shot, good defense, and still two for LA. Then Paul Pierce gets called for an offensive foul on a collision I didn’t see. Lakers go back to Kobe on the free throw line and he turns it over.

• James Posey drains a three. Odom hits a hook in the lane. I’m eating Fritos and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups right now for dinner.

• Pierce with a no-look to Powe, who hits a layup and goes to the line, but not before howling at the moon. 36-26, Boston. 7:44 to go in the second.

• Four straight for Kobe. Then Boston runs a Cassell and KG two-man game. Sprewell is at home on his motorboat drinking a Pabst and smiling. KG goes to the line and hits both, breaking Kobe’s string of 4 straight and giving Boston a 38-30 lead. Then Gasol powers in for two.

• Hey, guess what? Sam Cassell just forced a three-pointer. He missed.

• Pau Gasol just got caught up in the air over Kendrick Perkins and he hit the ground hard, really hard. Unless he’s faking it. Boston’s up 40-32 and really trying to work the ball in deep. Ben points out that Kobe has broken the triangle right now.

• KG outhustles Lamar to a loose ball then takes a TO. The Lakers have no life at all right now. Boston’s up 41-37, but it seems like it should be a lot bigger lead. If you’re a Lakers fan you can probably live with that because the Lake Show is in this.

• And the internet died again. I think Doc Rivers must have been in charge of planning internet access. If I stop updating the liveblog for any extended period of time, it’s because either the internet access is down again or because I hurled myself out of the press box and into the upper level of stands.

• Out of the TO, Kobe dribbles around and then Lamar dribbles around and then he fires up a brick.

• Three! Paul Pierce drains another three. Then Ray Allen drains a three. OK, maybe Lakers fans cant live with this. 47-37, with 2:52 to go.

• Vlad Rad! A three cuts it to 47-40 with 2 minutes left. And then Slick Kenny Mauer catches Kobe for his third foul. Nice. No Kobe for the last 1:53. Watch LA go on a run now.

• Gasol inside for two. 49-42. Paul Pierce walks and gets away with it. 51-42. Then KG feeds Rondo with a long outlet pass for a stuff. LA with a miss, then Rondo draws a foul. I was kidding about that LA going on a run stuff.

• Rondo hit one to make it 54-42. LA got it inside to Gasol as the clock wound down but he could get a shot off. At the half, Boston leads 54-42. Not a good look for the Lake Show tonight. I think Jerry Buss already has the plane warmed up.

• HALFTIME
The glaring difference on the stat sheet is that Boston has 19 free throw attempts while LA has 2. Now, I know the Lakers were shooting a lot more jumpers than Boston, but not that many more. For instance, Gasol got hacked on the last play of the half and that went uncalled. The other statistical anomaly is that that the Celts have 15 assists to LA’s 8. LA has actually made 2 more field goals, but the difference in assists suggests that the Lakers are doing a lot more one-on-one stuff than they are driving to the hoop.

• Internet is out again. Sorry, not trying to complain, just letting you know that the Celts organization apparently came prepped with a single Linksys router and expected everyone to use that same connection. This internet situation is a bigger disaster than Dan Dickau. It’s back! No, it’s down again. Amazing.

THIRD QUARTER
• Lakers start the half with a hook inside that Gasol misses. Then Perk gets away with a shove and Pierce bangs in another jumper.

• Trying to save a loose ball, Lamar Odom throws it off of Rondo and it bounces right to a Celtic. They can’t get a break. Perk to the line for two. This gives Boston a 21-2 lead on free throws.

• Kobe just got T’d up., after he got racked on his way to a lay-up, which he made, without a foul call. Ray Allen hits the free throw and gives Boston a 59-46 lead, and a 22-2 free throw advantage.

• Odom with a dunk that’s blocked by Perkins, cleanly (allegedly). Boston runs it back up and Rondo finds a trailing Pierce for a three. He’s 4-4 on threes. Vlad Rad answers with a three. 62-49, Boston. The Celts are playing loose and free and great right now.

• 7:13 to go and Garnett back to the line for two more he makes one. I’d also like to point out that there aren’t any TVs for replays or any stat screens close enough for me to see them, so covering this game must be what it was like covering a game back in the ’70s, like when Bob Ryan and Vecsey and all those dudes always talk about. That era sucked.

• Kobe hits for two, making it 65-51. Boston is dominating this game, but LA has juuuuuuust enough to stay alive.

• Rajon goes up for a dunk and gets Rondo’d. He makes one free throw.

• Kobe goes to the line on a questionable call against Ray Allen. Funny thing is they haven’t given LA a call all night, and they’re going to start now? Kobe makes both and cuts it to 66-53.

• Rondo called for a hook against Vlad Rad, who seems stunned by the call himself. Then Gasol shows up and gets a dunk. 66-55, 5:33 to go.

• Kobe drills in a jumper from the elbow. Rondo misses a three from the wing. Gasol knocks down a wide-open 15-footer to make it 68-59, with 4:29 to go.

• Is there any coincidence that the internet started working again when “Cotton-Eyed Joe” came on over the PA system? I think not!

• Also, Boston has a 26-4 free throw advantage. And I did mention that the other day in the Boston Herald they had a position-by-position breakdown for the series that listed the Doc Rivers/Phil Jackson match-up as “EVEN.”

• Odom goes 1-on-5 and throws it out of bounds off Ray Allen. He got lucky there.

• I don’t know if Paul PIerce’s knee is hurting or not. I don’t know if he faked getting hurt, and I don’t know if he faked feeling better. But I do know he’s killing LA right now. He’s got 23 with 2:50 to go in the third, Boston leading 72-59. Kobe just shot an airball. And then PJ Brown scored in transition. He shoots the ball like it’s electrified.

• Lamar goes right over PJ Brown’s back for a rebound, and I think the refs let it go to even things out, but then Lamar pegs the ball off a prone PJ Brown. Doesn’t matter because Kobe misses a jumper, then Ray Allen hits a three. 77-59.

• Leon Powe gingerly finishes an alley-oop to make it a 20-point game, 79-59, with 1:20 left in the third. These Celtics fans haven’t been this excited since the last dance at the country club.

• Out of the timeout, Lamar runs over PJ Brown, hard, and gets an offensive foul. Obvious foul, obvious call.

• Luke Walton overthrows Vujacic on a pass, and Leon Powe bangs on Luke Walton on the break. Then Rondo rondo’s a few people and hits Powe, who goes two hands over Turiaf. 83-61, Boston at the end of the quarter. LA look dunzo. This place is going wild.

• By the way, the Celts are brought to you by stuffwhitepeoplelike.com.

FOURTH QUARTER

• Just had to make a bathroom run, which required me walking to Waltham. Back and it’s 85-66 with 10:29 left. Phil has in Farmar, Turiaf, Sasha, Luke and a disinterested Kobe.

• Leon Powe has 17 points, 0 assists and 1 rebound. Wait, they just called a foul on Boston! The Lakers are stunned by this development, all standing around confused and unsure of how to react.

• Jordan Farmar’s agent should pitch him to Dell computers so he could do an ad with the theme, The Farmar and the Dell.

• 8:41 to go, and Boston up 20. I will give the fans this: They’re all still here, cheering and screaming. In L.A. they’d just now be showing up.

• We get “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey over the PA system. I’ll just say this: If they played this song at a game in, like, Atlanta, the entire crowd would get up and leave. Here it reminds everyone of their senior prom.

• The Celts run an inbounds play out of the timeout where they throw it to Powe, who then dribbles straight up the center o the court and dunks it with two hands. The Lakers are still in their huddle, I believe.

• Kobe is on edge right now. If I was Boston I’d send in Tony Allen and tell him to start jawing in his ear. That’s a fate worse than losing.

• 6:50 to go. A Lakers fan is being escorted from the building.

• Vlad Rad impales a three and cuts it to 18. By the way, the Vlad/vampire jokes remind me: I saw “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” last night and enjoyed a lot more than I expected to. Good movie. Yes, I’m at an NBA Finals game and I’m blogging about a movie. That’s how great this game has been.

• There’s 4:44 to go and Boston leads by 16, until Fisher drains a three. 13 points with 4:17 left. A quiet unease settles over the stands, like when the Dow dropped 400 points on Friday. Vlad has a shot at a three to cut it to 10 but it rims out. Then Posey hits a three from the corner to make it 16 again. Then Kobe hits a three and makes it 102-91. 2:34 left.

• Timeout. My internet hasn’t worked since the end of the fourth. This is really an incredible experience. If I had a typewriter I’d be faxing notes back to the desk now. Instead I’m stuck not being able to post there notes immediately. I’m still writing notes, just can’t post them. I wish they’d play “Cotton-Eyed Joe” again so I could get online.

• Rondo misses two free throws and Kobe scores easily. 102-93, Boston. Pierce bangs his way to the hoop for a deuce.

• Kobe scores lefty with no foul called, and he’s pissed. Lakers steal from Boston and Sasha hits a three from the wing. 104-98. 1:11 left.

• Vlad Rad with a steal!!! 104-100! 1:03 left. By the way, Ben and I both just noticed that Rondo has 16 assists. We got Rondo’d.

• Out of the TO, Boston doesn’t run the play they’ve been running all night where Pierce or Ray comes off a screen and instead they go to Rondo, who ends up taking and missing a jumper. Boston fouls Kobe and he goes to the line. Makes…makes. 104-102, 38.4 left.

• Boston returns and has Pierce go one-on-one against Kobe. A foul is called and he goes to the line for two with 22.8 left. Prince Paul makes the first…and make the second. 106-102, 22.8 left.

• Out of the TO, Boston muscles LA out of their offense and they end up with Sasha taking a rushed three, which is blocked. Posey gets the rebound, goes to the line and makes both. 108-102. Fisher misses a three, and that’s it. Boston goes ahead 2-0, 108-102.