Friday, June 11, 2010

Game 4 - The Blistering Bench

For the second straight game, Big Baby Davis had a monster 4th quarter. In all, Davis ended with 18 points and 5 rebounds in only 22 minutes of action. Doc Rivers finally showed more trust in the quick-scoring little man, Nate Robinson. Robinson scored 12 points in a mere 17 minutes of play.

Robinson's play was much needed as Rajon Rondo struggled once again. At his best, Rondo's game still has holes. He cannot shoot from the outside, tends to over-dribble, and gambles too much on defense. But his strengths usually outweigh his weaknesses. He's magnificent at finishing at the rim, is a great passer when given space or in transition, has a propensity for steals, and is an excellent rebounder. In Game 4, Rondo had trouble shooting, even open shots at the basket, posting 5-15 on the night.

But a steal by Rondo late in the 4th quarter and subsequent layup gave the Celtics an insurmountable 8-point lead. The Celtics eventually won 96-89 to tie the series at two games with one more in Boston.

Paul Pierce started fast. The Celtics went away from him for most of the rest of the game though. He still added 19 points to the cause. Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett had poor shooting nights, but put in double figures. The game, however, was won in the fourth quarter. Boston's bench played superbly. In addition to Davis and Robinson, Rasheed Wallace and Tony Allen added key intangibles. 36 of Boston's 96 points game in the 4th, thanks to the bench.

The Lakers were badly out-rebounded. Ron Artest and Lamar Odom tied for the team lead with 7. Kobe Bryant scored 33 and Pau Gasol contributed 21, but the rest of the Lakers were M.I.A. The Lakers role players were no match for Boston, who had 6 players score in double figures. In the 4th, even the Laker starters couldn't keep up with Boston's bench.

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