Thursday, June 3rd, 2010 at 8:53 pm  |  78 responses

NBA Finals: Game 1 Live Blog

The Lake Show jumps ahead to a 1-0 lead with a 102-89 win.

by Lang Whitaker

Hey everyone…Lang here, with my main man Marcel Mutoni (alliteration!) by my side, high above courtside at the Staples Center, ready to liveblog Game 1. Internet access at the Finals is always about as inconsistent as Andrew Bynum, so I’ll do my best to keep it cracking. As always, your comments are encouraged down below.

• Went to David Stern’s press conference, which was entertaining as always. Most interesting answer was probably when David Aldridge asked if the NBA was really in as bad a shape financially as Stern has been saying it is the last few months, why were all these guys buying teams recently. And Stern said it was partly because of the promise of a new collective bargaining agreement. Lots of posturing going down in there.

• Also great was during the Phil Jackson press conference, when someone pointed out that Kevin McHale had given the coaching edge to Doc Rivers over Phil, and Phil pointed out that McHale had also once given Boston Kevin Garnett.

• Tonight’s National Anthem? Ben’s dad, Jeffrey Osborne, who killed it as always.

• Mutoni just found his seat in the 300 level next to me, and then realized he didn’t get an internet “code,” and he had to run all the way back down to the basement. Fun.

• Refs tonight include Joey Crawford, Joe DeRosa and Derrick Stafford. Jim Joyce is the alternate.

• Celts open with a simple give-and-go to take a 2-0 lead, and on the next possession, something happens with Paul Pierce and Ron Artest and they go down in a heap, almost like in greco roman wrestling. That was fast. Refs call a foul on Ray Allen and double T’s on Pierce and Artest. 11:27 to go in the first!

• At the risk of jinxing things, this is BY FAR the best internet access I’ve ever had at a Finals game. Amazing.

• Forgot to mention before the game I saw Rick Fox with a microphone from EXTRA interviewing someone I didn’t recognize, an older guy with a leather jacket and a trucker hat. I asked someone who it was…and it was steven Spielberg.

• Uh-oh, Fisher picks up a quick scond foul and here comes Masheen. Bynum gets a dunk on a loos ball and Ray Allen answers. Lakers up 6-4.

• Lakers cut it to 12-8. Rondo with an early 6 points cutting hard to the rim.

• Ray Allen picks up his second personal with 6:56 to go in the first. Here comes Tony! Pau Gasol celebrates with a walk.

• Boston seems content going one-on-one on the block, and LA’s not doubling. Lots of dudes coming open off weak-side cuts for the C’s.

• Pau makes up for the walk with back-to-back buckets and pushed the L.A. lead to 16-10 at the first timeout of the first quarter.

• Marcel: “Kobe’s really going to the hole today.”

• Kobe picks up his first trying to fight through a screen from Pierce. Pierce to the line cuts it to an 18-16 Lakers lead. Then Farmar turns it over and has to foul to stop a break. Rondo, for the heck of it, does a windmill and nearly makes it.

• BTW, shouldn’t Kendrick Perkins’ nickname be “SMH”?

• Celtics have had a couple of turnovers trying to enter the ball into the post. L.A.’s jumping those passes. Odom to the line and hits 1 of 2, Lakers up 20-18.

• Tony Allen just picked up his third foul! With Ray Allen also in foul trouble, Michael Finley has been defrosted and inserted into the game.

• Interesting that Joe DeRosa came back from being suspended for tossing a ball at a fan in Orlando to ref Game 1 of the Finals.

• There’s Kobe’s second foul, after Paul Pierce collapsed trying to receive an inbounds pass.

• BTW, with Marcel and I here tonight in the press box is Jia Peng from SLAM China. He just had to type his name because I  was to understand how it was spelled.

• So after one, the Lakers lead 26-21. Lots of fouls, not a lot of momentum. Boston’s shooting guards have 5 fouls after one quarter.

• Celebs here include Will Ferrell, Hillary Swank, Steven Spielberg, Kevin James, Glen Frey…but nobody gets cheers like Jack.

• The Lakers run an iso for Farmar out of the timeout. #thingsthatmakeyougohmm

• A Sheed three cuts it to 28-26, and then Pau gets his Dream Shake wiped by Sheed.

• Can we abbreviate Dream Shake as Drake? Or is that offensive to Hakeem?

• Just ran to the bathroom here in the upper level, where someone has put Celtics basketball cards in each of the urinals. Not kidding.

• With 7:35 to play in the first half, L.A. is clinging to a 32-31 lead. Boston’s hanging in there, even with half their backcourt in foul trouble. Tony Allen just returned with 3 fouls. If he doesn’t foul out before halftime I’m going to be disappointed.

• Paul Pierce just got a standing boo-vation from the Lakers fans. Nice.

• KG may not be able to jump, but he’s still money on that turnaround baseline J. Celts down 37-35 with 4:46 to go in the first half.

• Unsurprising plus/minus stats so far: Finley, -3; Vujacic, -5.

• Not sure the Lakers drew up a 3 for Artest out of the last timeout…but it worked. And then Ron scores on a breakaway!

• Ray Allen picks up his third foul and sends Shannon Brown to the line. The Celts look a step slow defensively in the second quarter. LA on a little 7-2 run out of that last TO. Lakers open up a 49-37 lead with 56 seconds left in the half.

• Wow, Rondo rondos the Lakers and hits a step-back bucket at the halftime buzzer to cut the lead to single digits. At the half, LA leads 50-41.

• During the half I ran downstairs to get a couple of water bottles, and I apparently missed the halftime act, Quick Change! Crap! Only thing that could be better is if the NBA brings back Christopher at some point this postseason. You old-school NBA heads will get that one.

• Some halftime numbers: KG 2-7, Perk 1-1, Boston bench 8 points and 7 fouls. Lakers shooting 53 pct from the floor. Kobe leads everyone with 12 points and with 4 assists. Pierce leads Boston with 5 boards. Gasol has a quiet 11 and 7.

• Perk picks up his 3rd foul 13 seconds into the half. SMH.

• Kobe comes out hot, and then the Lakers get it to Bynum in the post. Rondo answers. Then L.A. runs an iso for Kobe on Ray Allen, and Ray immediately picks up his 4th foul.

• Kobe gets wiped driving to the basket and complains but doesn’t get the T. If that was Perk, it would’ve been a T. Speak of the devil, Perk dribbles out of bounds along the baseline, and then Rondo picks up a foul, Boston’s 4th team foul with 7:50 left in the quarter. Gasol hits two to make it 59-48.

• Perk just scowled in two free throws. His favorite Celtics must be Brian Scowlabrine.

• L.A. with a breakaway dunk for Kobe, and the Lakers open up a 65-52 lead as a Boston Sucks chant erupts.

• After L.A. opens up a 13 point lead, their biggest of the night, Boston cuts it back to 9, before Gasol scores again to push it to 11. I looked down to type that and looked up and Gasol was laying under the basket and KG was going to the line.

• Kobe hits two free throws to push it back to an 11 point lead with 3:34 left in the third. 22 points for 24.

• LA keeps pushing the pace, this time with a Fish alley-oop to Kobe. L.A. matches their largest lead of 13 with 2:10 left in the third, 75-62.

• LA goes right back to their Kobe iso, and he draws Ray Allen’s fifth foul and puts L.A. up 15.

• Of course, Rasheed cuts it to a 13 point lead. And then fouls Fish on the other end.

• After a switch, Big Baby ends up with the ball isolated against Fisher, and he has no idea what to do. Celts miss a shot, and LA comes back and Gasol gets fouled.

• And there’s the technical foul on Rasheed. Didn’t see that coming. Fisher hits the T, Gasol hits one of two, and L.A. pushes it to a 17 point lead.

• Rondo tries to create something, dashes into the lane and gets called for a charge. L.A. returns and Ron Artest drains a righty three fading to his left. Of course he did.

• After three, the Lakers lead 84-64. That’s a 34-23 third quarter for the Lakers. Also, in 36 minutes of action so far, there have been 44 fouls called.

• BTW, over at Chavez Ravine, the Braves lead the Dodgers 3-0 after 4 innings.

• Sheed opens the fourth with a tomahawk dunk on Gasol, then goes after a loose ball and leaps over the front row of fans. That could’ve been nasty. And then Sheed fouls Gasol. Big 40 seconds there for Sheed.

• Nate Robinson enters and is given free license to go nuts. He does, and creates a bucket for Big Baby. L.A. has a few turnovers, Boston cuts it to 13 with 8:28 to play and the crowd in the Stapler seems a little unnerved. Luckily the incessant ads on the scoreboard for “Grown Ups” takes everyone’s mind off it.

• L.A. pushes it back to a 15 point lead, before Derrick Stafford makes a super late call and sends Ray Allen to the line.

• Boston gets KG iso’ed against Shannon Brown in the post, and KG finds a cutting Big Baby, who can’t outjump Artest. Ron gets the block, L.A. hits a streaking Gasol for the dunk and makes it a 15 point lead with 6:20 to go. Still, doesn’t quite feel like this game is over yet. The Laker Girls celebrate by doing a dance to “Boom Boom Pau.”

• Coming out of the timeout, the Lakers play “Welcome To The Jungle,” which gets the crowd pumped up. As it should. Both teams return with their starting fives, and Gasol fouls Ray Allen, who makes both.

• Just realized Boston’s only hit one 3 all night. And it was by Rasheed, of course.

• Boston forces a 24 second clock violation. Then Ray Allen forces a three and misses. Boston gets the rebound and Rondo spots KG alone under the rim and whips him the ball, and KG, standing their by his lonesome, just doesn’t have the legs to get up and dunk it. He fumbles the ball away, L.A. grabs the ball, hustles down and Odom converts to push it back to 15 points with 5:17 to play.

• Again, Boston cuts it to 11, now with 4:11 to play. But they can’t seem to get over that double-digit hump. Accordingly, Kobe hits a cutting Lamar and makes it 13, then Boston misses and L.A. misses and Boston misses. The crowd finds a voice…and Kobe misses, then Boston turns it over. 2:29 to play, Lakers lead 95-82.

• My man from SLAM China just told me this is the first NBA game he’s ever been to. He deems it “very cool.”

• Artest nails a three from the wing, which just about seals it. The crowd chants “We Want Tacos” as the Lakers flirt with 100 points. They miss three attempts to break 100, and as the game dwindles, the fans switch over to the always popular “Boston Sucks” chant. Then, as the clock runs out to end the game, Kobe rips a 3 to give the crowd tacos and the Lakers a 103-89 win.

• BTW, Phil Jackson’s teams are 47-0 when they win Game 1 of a Playoff series. Just saying.

• Thanks for hanging in here all night. Later…

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  • kudos

    More like as slow as fisher.

  • TaranvirSandhu

    Hey, are you guys going to announce who won the 17 Free Hats Contest soon?

  • http://www.deadjournalist.com/DJdc chuckw/deadjournalist

    i was just wondering where the hell you were hiding, lang. shoulda figured it was in a pressbox.

  • TaranvirSandhu

    Hey, are you guys going announce who won the 17 Free Hats contest soon?

  • TaranvirSandhu

    my bad, wrote it twice

  • BrownPaperBag

    Not sure if the Lakers have an answer for Rondo… he should kill it tonight for a Celtics win

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    Stuart Scott has already ruined the finals by being Stuart Scott.

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    Artest didn’t just double dribble, he triple dribbled.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Paul Pierce is such a sucker.

  • Hangtime Hec

    There goes Joey Crawford, blowing the whistle as if it were a c*ck.

  • Bruno

    Rupaul sucks … kobe in the bench and two ex d-league players doin’ their thing hell yeah!!!

  • Fut.

    More fouls than a c*ck fight tonight.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ Moose

    Kobe is primed to score a bajillion points now with Tony Allen outta the way. Oh, f*ck.

  • Fut.

    Rondo’s getting blocked on a Big Baby Davis level.

  • BrownPaperBag

    Take care of Gasol and the Celts win!

  • Simmy Sosa

    Rasheed came to play tonight!!

  • Fut.

    Masheen with the softest foul of the series

  • http://www.kwapt.blogspot.com KobeWearsAPurpleThong

    Ray Allen=Butter.

  • Jake

    Has anyone else noticed the zone/man hybrid defense the Lakers have played a few times?The 2 post players have been staying put while the 3 perimeter defenders follow the guards around.Genius!

  • kenNY


  • nastierthanu2

    I haven’t seen a fadeaway yet. Kobe’s playing a chess game cause you know he’s waiting to pull it out when it matters.

  • nastierthanu2

    Holy Buzzer beater batman!!

  • Fut.

    At least the Celts can’t do much worse in the second half.

  • mike

    like tony allen would stop kobe…

  • The Philosopher

    Jeffrey Osbourne is really Ben Osborne’s father? I have all of his records. If not, I still have all of his records…

  • Aaron

    This is the worst officiating I have ever seen in the NBA finals. I am talking about for both teams, these refs are taking the premier players out of the game. THIS IS THE NBA FINALS – LET THEM PLAY! Joey Crawford is a complete moron.

  • Simmy Sosa

    Too many whistles in this game…

  • Aaron

    Are we tuning in to watch the refs or an NBA finals game? Freakin ridiculous.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    If Tony Allen hadn’t lost control of the ball ,then Kobe would have got dunked on lol

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Man that was some phantom foul on Ray Allen.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    $50 to Derek Fisher haha.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    The Lakers are seriously outplaying the Celtics, but the referees definitely are messing with things. It seems you can’t go half a possession without a call on either side. What happened to the “benefit of the doubt”? Uh oh, it looks like Stern’s Thought Police are at my door…

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    Seems to be an odd discrepancy between the live game action and Langs posts coming through. At 8.30 left in the 4th Lang posted the score for the end of the third. Strange.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    @Michael: Yeah. Maybe time is passing faster in Oceania and China than it is up in the stands in LA.

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    That KG missed layup and putback sequence was truly bizarre.

  • Simmy Sosa

    Tim Duncan makes that play. I’m just sayin…

  • Bruno

    if rondo plays like this one more game in this series … it’s over

  • ragingbull

    RE: Phil pointed out that McHale had also once given Boston Kevin Garnett.

    Ahh, does he forget that Jerry West gift-wrapped Pao Gassol to the lakers? At least the T-Wolves got some nice players for KG.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    And People say this is the same K.G that abused the Lakers bigs in 2008…………

  • Bruno

    47-0 when a phil jackson team wins 1st game of the series

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    I don’t recall anyone saying KG was playing like he did in ’08. He’s had a solid playoffs for sure, but not at that level.

  • Joey E.

    Those C’s sure bullied the Lakers bigs. whoa. Wait, Pau had more boards than KG(4!), Sheed, Baby, and Perk combined? huh?

  • BostonBaller

    #1 I’m encourage by P Double’s hussle at the very end and not giving up, plus he didn’t get many shot attempts this game (that will change) #2 I like that Kobe took and made an unnecessary 3 at the end to push the dagger in a bit deeper. Hopefully it stung us.#3 I like that Doc left the starters in (no perk for obvious reasons) to soak up the butt whoop’n first hand and get that bitter taste stronger in their mouths. As I said before, this is game 1 and no one should get too up or down. GREEN for 18

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    Well, people have said that K.G will dominate Pau like he did in 2008,
    when in reality K.G is strictly a mid-range spot-up shooter at this point of his basketball life

  • http://slamonline.com Tzvi Twersky

    Game 2 is huuuge game for Boston now.

  • Joey E.
  • G I I

    pptwit : anyone have a broom?

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    *sitting on his couch and repeatedly throwing a basketball against his TV, Matt Barnes quietly weeps*
    “Flinch you son of a b!tch! Fliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinch!”

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Great job, Lang. So glad about the internet (knocking on wood). Just got back from watching game at friend’s…thought I’d catch end of Braves-Dodgers but it’s not on Extra Innings tonight, so you’re better off in LA.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    @Taranvir: we’ll pick Laker hat winners tomorrow…most likely will contact via Twitter.

  • http://www.kwapt.blogspot.com KobeWearsAPurpleThong

    Yeouch. Gasol had his way w/us. Man it makes me wanna puke to have to say that. Interior defense for the Green was awful. And 1 for 10 shooting from 3 combined w/poor rebounding & turnovers= 1-0 Fakers lead. Game 2 not a “must” win, but pretty f’ing close. FakeShow is tough at home, but I know we can beat their road-version. Let’s regroup and get Chapter Deuce Celts.

  • rafael

    I wonder how much the Lakers paid them referees,it seems very obvious. well, thats hollywood bball I guess you got to be a good actor to sell tickets…

  • Joey E.

    oh really Rafael? The Celtics shot more FT’s than the Lakers did…and honestly, the Lakers had 2 less personal fouls. so what? every game cant be dead even. 28-26 is probably as even as you can get. quit crying

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    i think the game was called pretty fairly, but fouls hurt the celtics way more just because of ray. once ray got in foul trouble, things broke down for them offensively, since he couldn’t play his usual amount of minutes and find his rhythm. the good news for boston is that LA clearly played their best, the celtics played very poorly, and were still in it for most of the game. oh well. as long as the c’s take game 2 they’ll be in good shape heading back to boston.

  • http://Www.slamonline.com Negetivekreep

    Letsmotor: ” LA clearly played thier best” yeah maybe defensively, But LA beat Boston energy n hustle wise. That’s Supposed to be Bostons strength, if Boston allows LA to out hustle them again like they did 2nite, things could really, really heat up offensively for the Lakers. Who for the most part played a conservative more disciplined O game and were still at one point ahead by 20. Oh, and @ Kobewearsapurplethong: kobe wears a green thong with brown skid marks.

  • Jackie Moon

    @Lang I don’t think Jack in the Box gives free tacos based on Lakers offense, it’s only if the Lakers win and hold the other team under 100 points … Unless they changed it … and yes, half the Staples crowd probably doesn’t even know this, because they’re used to the old way, which led to some unsportsmanlike conduct in the name of tacos …

  • Jackie Moon
  • http://slamonline.com JL

    stupid game. fouls were called when people were just standing there with their hands straight up. they better look at some tape and fix the foul calling. rough and tumble is better than this crap.

  • beethoven

    That was bad ass when Kobe nailed that last second shot for tacos!

  • Slam_Reader

    Lakers in 6!!!

  • BostonBaller

    It took less than 24 hours for a Lakers fan to say sweep AND the sky is falling mentality kicked in for some bandwagon Celtics fans. lol. The refs weren’t great but they didn’t whoop us the Lakers did. The orblems are correctible and the Lakers did what they were supposed to do..win at home.

  • Fred

    I hate the NBA when guy flop like Gasol did on KG, at least he had a foul on the play. Gasol is gay. I have nothing against homo, but don’t play like that on a basket court. If your are not able to play like a man, don’t play at all. I hate flopping.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    LA clearly played their best??? Lamar Odom did not play a good game.And although Kobe dropped 30, he can still play better.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Cheryl

    I haven’t been a Kobe fan in the past, but for some reason I really want him and the Lakers to win this series. I’m beginning to like the kid. He’ll probably do something to turn me off again, but right now, I’m pulling for he and his team. Lakers in 5.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Eboy is going to kill you Cheryl.

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    @Royal: when i say they played their best, i’m not saying every single player played their best, just that things were clicking for them overall (don’t mean to make that sound like it’s about luck, cause it’s not). sure, LO could’ve played better, but what i meant was that Kobe had 30-7-6, Pau had 23-14, Ron was hitting 3′s, Laker guards were penetrating very easily, and Boston still had a chance.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Cheryl

    I know, I’m awaiting his comments, Bryan! :-)

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Gasol and Kobe looked nice. Boston, particularly KG, looked tentative. Ray and Paul seemed ready to play, but it’s going to be hell on Ray having to guard Kobe. And Rondo has to be a finisher when he gets to the rim.

  • http://slamonline.com Krishan

    I have no idea why rivers kept rayray with 4 fouls in the third. It was a shady call, but ray had no business staying in the floor, let alone guarding kobe. And ron artest came up HUGE this game. Hitting that game winner against phoenix totally revitalized him, two straight monster games from him so far. KG looked tired and old.

  • BostonBaller

    Kobe is why Ron is playing like this, have you noticed that every chance he gets he is in Ron’s face giving him positive feed back and prodding him along? What’s with the soft layups we are taking, this scoop stuff has to go!!! Rondo, when he did go to the hole, was just flipping the ball up and doing these fufu soft layups which are the easiest shots to block. He needs to attack that defense and force them to make a good block or foul him. That would open up easier shots for everyone. Now that the 1st game crappies have left us we need to start playing real ball.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Rondo was getting into the lane, but he was almost always looking to reverse or pass. Gotta go up over the top. He has the hops and arms to do that on occasion. If Iverson could, he can.
    KG did look gassed. And, as is common, he looked tentative offensively. He has to be aggressive with Gasol and force him to defend him. He needs to make some strong moves to the middle and use that jump hook instead of all the fakes and jump shots.
    Pierce adn Ray just need to keep doing what they’re doing on offense. Yeah, Pierce hit some tough shots, but they were shots he’s comfortable taking any game. Ray too. The problem is that they have to guard Kobe on defense, and man, Kobe is looking sharp right now. The entire offensive aresenal is working and he’s resting on defense.
    Bynum and Perkins was a wash, although the Celtics have got to gang rebound on the defensive glass, even if that sacrifices fast break opportunities. Too many times the Celtics were spectating, while the Lakers were crashing the boards.
    Sheed needs to stop fouling and move his feet.
    Nate needs Tony Allen’s minutes.
    Big Baby needs to hit the jumper.
    Is it obvious I’m hoping for a Celtics win? lol

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    @letsmoter: Oh ok I get what your saying …….not that I agree (I don’t believe that Celtics were ever really in the game,the score did not reflect the game and most of Paul Pierce 24pts was when the game was practically over.)

  • heh8meN1

    One down 3 to go. On to the next ONE.


  • http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:OzhW3M1GBSKkgM:http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    Seriously though, where is Eboy?

  • BostonBaller

    We (The C’s) were outplayed last night plain and simple…the refs did effect us at the very start but we simply sucked last night but don’t get it twisted, we are in this to win it. Green for 18.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Lakers in 5 or sweep has been my prediciton before this series started. People forget Lakers won the first matchup in the regular season and almost beat the Celtics when Bryant was hurt. Bryant is on a mission to prove Jerry West and Magic Johnson wrong. Kobe Bryant is the man and can hold the mantle for the next three years and longer, People forget MJ could have played to me at least 5 more years after he retire, but he was dumb and wouldn’t play anywhere else until he was too old to lead. Kobe is different if Lakers feel he is not what he was in 5 years, Trust me, Kobe will play for another team and not care about what the media or true Laker fans like me will think. Thats why I like KOBE!!!

  • Ben Flook

    @ Fred; Pierce is the king of the flop. He’s diving around out there like the world cup started early.

  • The Philosopher

    @Allenp: Iverson’s a better pure athlete than Rondo.