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Ray Allen (right) was the man of the hour... in the first half. Kobe Bryant stole the show in the second half, scoring 20 of his 23 points after halftime and he put the game on ice with a jumper over Allen in the closing moments of the game. Photo by Elise Amendola/AP
92-86 victory over the Celtics is the first signs of life by the Lakers all seasonBy Jason LewisSentinel Sports Editor
The Los Angeles Lakers finally have their first signature victory of the season, and it only took them 53 games to do it. Every game against a title contender (Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, and San Antonio Spurs) was thought to be the game where the Lakers would finally break out. When they would finally show that they were serious about defending their title and going for the three peat. Entering their game against the Celtics, the Lakers were 0-4 against the Spurs, Heat, and Celtics. Three of those losses were at home, and three off them were blowout losses.
Well the Lakers finally stepped it up and flexed their muscles, even though in the first half it appeared that they were conceding the game to Boston. The Celtics held a 15-point second quarter lead before the Lakers came storming back and pretty much dominated the rest of the game. The Lakers Kobe Bryant saved his best for the second half. After taking only three first half shots while getting his teammates involved, Bryant scored 20 of his 23 points in the second half, and put on a show late in the 4th period to put the game on ice.The Celtics Ray Allen was the man of the hour in the first period when he broke Reggie Miller’s NBA record for most career three-point shots made. But with the game on the line in the 4th period, and Allen defending Bryant, he didn’t have a chance as Bryant crossed him over twice and then pulled up for a mid range jump shot. The ball hit nothing but net, giving the Lakers an eight-point lead in the closing moments of the game. Lakers power forward Pau Gasol also had a good game, scoring 20 points with 10 rebounds and Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who has been the subject of trade rumors involving Denver Nuggets Carmelo Anthony, scored 16 points and pulled down nine rebounds.
The Lakers bigs played a major role in this victory. The Lakers out scored the Celtics 50-32 in the paint and out rebounded them 47-36.
This was a much-needed victory for the Lakers for several reasons. They are in the middle of a seven game road trip, and their next two opponents are the New York Knicks and the Orlando Magic, but playoff teams. A loss to the Celtics would have put the Lakers in a disastrous position because of the opponents over the next couple of games. The loss would have also been one more reason to burry this team. They have fallen a game behind the red hot Dallas Mavericks, who have won their last ten games, and they are eight games behind the Spurs in the West. It looks like the Lakers may be able to get right away from home, where they have played well so far this season. The Lakers have the 10th best home record at 19-8, but they have the third best road record at 18-8.
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