One loss away from elimination, the Los Angeles Lakers played an all-around game. It began quickly, igniting the usually reserved Staples Center. It was a total team effort. Artest shot well. Pau had an incredible game. Bynum looked active. Even Shannon Brown, off the bench, contributed some eye-catching dunks.
Off of a timeout, Pau lobbed a terrible pass in the direction of a leaping Brown. Brown caressed the ball with one out-stretched arm and thundered in through the hoop, completing a memorable alley oop. Outside of that bad pass, Paul was amazing. He had 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 9 assists. Kobe was efficient, scoring 26 points and obtaining 11 missed shots. Odom aided the Lakers domination on the boards and even Sasha Vujacic scored 9 points.
The Lakers took a 20 point lead into halftime. They held Boston to a paltry sum of 31 points in the first half. The Celtics would only end up with 67 points, losing by 22. Ray Allen had 19 points and was the only Celtic remotely effective offensively.
The trouble for the Celtics was exacerbated when starting center, Kendrick Perkins, went down with an apparent serious knee injury. Rasheed Wallace got into foul trouble and that forced Sheldon Williams into the lineup. It didn't turn out well. But besides the Perkins injury, Boston was out-hustled and out-played, which spells for doom for a team already with less talent than the Lakers.
As good as Rondo can be, he is awful when he's off. Game 6 was one of the latter. Missing layups and bricking jumpers, it was a wonder why he was out there. I've been arguing all season that Rondo is similar to Baron Davis in that regard. When they're on, they're two of the best players in the league. When they're off, which happens more than it should, they're look like a perfect fit for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
This series will feature only the third Game 7 in the last 20 years. But Game 7s are not new to this historic rivalry. It's what we've all wanted; one game to decide the best basketball team in the world.