It was when the Boston Celtics led as many as 14 points in the first half. It was when Ray Allen couldn't miss from three-point range. It was when Allen had 27 points by the end of the half. It was Rajon Rondo was already nearing a triple-double by the time the second-half started. It was when the Celtics were dominant.
It was the Lakers, who literally bounced back in the final ten seconds of the game. Kobe stealing the pass, and shooting three...hitting it. 54-48. And then Kobe stole the ball again and made a last-second shot, but it missed. It was when Andrew Bynum was pretty dominant, even with injury. It was when the Lakes lost it in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, and they never came back.
It was when, the Los Angeles Lakers lost, 103-94, in a disappointing ending. The series is now tied as the Lakers head over to Boston, with their opponent so far having the momentum. And it doesn't get better, though, because these next three games will be in Boston.
And the Lakers are struggling. They have already been showing a sign of it. The Boston fans are more into the game, and louder, when they come to the Garden. And it gets worse because they are louder and put more pressure when it's their long-time rival: The Los Angeles Lakers.
So with that, the Lakers need to be careful on what they do. Ron Artest got fouled out in the game. Kobe Bryant almost got fouled out, and if he did, the game would have turned out much worse.
The Lakers allowed Ray Allen to get open. On most of his three-pointers and normal two-point jumpers, Allen was wide-open on most of them, or he got a lot of separation. And the Lakers definitely did not see it coming. They should have. It looked like they didn't see it from the first three. Then the second. They probably realized it once Allen hit his fifth or sixth three-pointer.
But the Lakers showed they could come back in games, as in the third quarter and for most of the fourth quarter where they held a comfortable lead or were tied or down by one at least. But they couldn't finish through.
As the Lakers head over to Boston, they are going to see an even more tougher Celtics' team. Mark Travis, a Lakers fan and regular NBA blogger over at ButTheGameIsOn.com, wrote his daily column about the Lakers. One was written yesterday that Game Two was a must-win for the Los Angeles Lakers. I couldn't agree more.
The Lakers just somehow struggle in Boston. And the sad thing is that the Celtics never feel intimidated coming into Staples Center. They won and gave L.A. their first loss in the NBA Playoffs at home in Staples.
But it does mark some good for this Los Angeles squad. The big men played great. Pau Gasol played great with 25 points and eight rebounds, leading the team in those stat categories. Andrew Bynum had 21 points, six rebounds, and seven blocked shots. What made that performance good was that he was playing with an injury. Once he recovers, he can turn into an even more dominant and monstrous center when he faces Kendrick Perkins.
"Our big guys played great," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "We didn't get the ball often enough to them, or in a good enough position many times, and a lot of our outside shooting was not that [good]. ... In a sequence like this, there's no doubt it's a blow to us to lose the homecourt, but we anticipated this might happen, and we're just going to have to go pick it up."
L.A. is definitely going to need to pick it up. If they can't win at least one game in Boston, this series is over. I see the Lakers winning one game over at the Garden, and coming back at Staples Center with a 3-2 deficit. They can still come back, but it's going ot be tough considering the Celtics have the momentum going for them. Better than that, they are at home for the next three.
As we look at it currently, the Los Angeles Lakers are in trouble.