Boston Celtics tie series 1-1
Published 12:19 am Monday, June 7, 2010
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Boston Celtics evened the NBA finals with Ray Allen shredding the Lakers from the 3-point line — and Rajon Rondo doing everything else from everywhere else.
Allen scored 27 of his 32 points in the first half with a record-setting 3-point shooting display, Rondo completed a triple-double down the stretch and the Celtics handed the Los Angeles Lakers their first home loss of the postseason, 103-94 Sunday night in Game 2.
Allen hit a finals-record eight 3-pointers in a dazzling effort for the Celtics, including seven before halftime. Rondo then took charge after Allen cooled down, racking up 19 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in his fifth playoff triple-double.
‘‘An entire team effort,’’ Rondo said. ‘‘Ray carried us through the first half. Second half, we got in a little slump but we stuck with it, stayed together and got a victory.’’
Kobe Bryant scored 21 points while battling more foul trouble for the Lakers, who couldn’t catch up to Boston’s dynamic guards in Los Angeles’ first home playoff loss since last season’s Western Conference finals. Pau Gasol had 25 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers, and Andrew Bynum added 21 points and six rebounds.
The teams traded the lead throughout the period, but Rondo’s heady layup put the Celtics ahead 91-90 with 3:21 to play. The play was vintage Rondo, as he scooted in to collect the ball and score after Pau Gasol blocked a shot.
Kevin Garnett then hit a jumper, and after another possession of stifling defense, Rondo hit another jumper, celebrating with a swing of his arm in the mostly silent Staples Center.
Rondo has grown into possibly the Celtics’ biggest offensive threat in these playoffs, but his 10-point fourth quarter looms among his largest achievements.
After the Lakers’ whistle-plagued 102-89 victory in the opener, both teams again struggled under the weight of foul trouble. Garnett and Bryant both spent extra time on the bench, with Bryant picking up his fifth foul early in the fourth.
Garnett had just six points, and Paul Pierce never got going, scoring 10 on 2-of-11 shooting. The Celtics also struggled against the Lakers’ low-post game.
With Allen and Rondo playing spectacular basketball, none of their flaws mattered much.