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Running Blog For Game 5 Of The 2010 NBA Finals

Of the past 25 NBA Finals series that were tied 2-2, the winning team from Game 5 has gone on to win the championship 19 times. So tonight’s game will give either the Lakers or Celtics a 76 percent chance of raising a banner.

Or maybe just a better chance. All those odds are overrated anyway.

I do think the Lakers will find a way to win tonight.

4:55 p.m. Bynum has to be somewhat effective for the Lakers to have a good chance tonight. Twenty minutes or so would be a real pleasure and a benefit for them. He and Odom and Gasol … rebounds, rebounds, rebounds! Rebounding is important for both teams, but Boston has really dominated a couple of games on the glass. That can’t continue for LA.

In the fourth quarter, actually run an offensive set with passes. Stop with this Kobe one-on-one stuff. I’ll keep screaming that the Lakers must make sure Gasol touches the ball on a majority of fourth-quarter possessions. I just know it won’t happen.

4:58 p.m. For Boston, you’ve got to feel pretty good because the Celtics have played four games, are even with the Lakers are really haven’t played one great game where everyone gets involved. They haven’t played their best basketball in this series.

Can Glen Davis keep being so spectacular? The Lakers must find a way to shut him down offensively at the baseline and keep him out of the paint when it comes to rebounding.

5:06 p.m.Rivers: “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.” Wow, a good soundbite from a coach during a pre-game speech for once.

5:07 p.m. Bynum air-balls the first shot of the game and less than a minute in, Boston’s out to a 4-0 lead.

5:09 p.m. This is a start similar to Game 3.

How could Kobe not see Rondo guarding Bynum?? It took an offensive rebound for the Lakers to take advantage of it.

5:11 p.m. Boston gets whistled for the game’s first three fouls. KG gets called for an offensive foul. There was one committed right before Rondo’s jumper, but …

5:13 p.m. This has the feel of a very uneven game so far.

5:15 p.m. Pierce doesn’t even give an attempt on the jump ball, but the Laker can’t get a shot off before the shot clock expires. Paul figured he shouldn’t waste the energy — the Lakers will just turn it over in the end.

5:17 p.m. As soon as Mike Breen says both teams aren’t settling for jumpers — I agree. It’s been great to see both teams driving to the hoop consistently — Fisher hoists up a 3 from the corner and gets fouled by Pierce for his second PF.

5:20 p.m. That Davis drool will probably go down as the most memorable moment of these finals. Of course, it is only Game 5.

5:21 p.m. Fisher makes all three free throws to give the Lakers a small, short-lived lead as Ray Allen does what he does: He comes of a screen and drains the jumper.

5:22 p.m. Kobe has got to force contact and get to the line. These fall-away jumpers, while he makes an inordinate amount, are offensive killers.

5:24 p.m. Perkins gets the rebound, lumbers up court, drops the pass and commits the charge.

Uh, yeah, Glen? Get in there!

5:26 p.m. Again, both teams just kind of playing it close and not taking too many chances in the first. Lakers should feel pretty good for being down three. They are shooting less than 30 percent from the floor, winning the rebound battle, especially on the offensive end, and have no foul trouble at all. Meanwhile, Pierce has to sit. The Celtics have made 9 of 14 shots.

5:28 p.m. In that footage, Phil Jackson looked like Tom Sellack without the ‘stache.

5:29 p.m. Pierce not sitting any longer. He’s back in the game and nails a two.

5:30 p.m. It’s OK, ABC. Having five comedians sit in a circle discussing the NBA when they really don’t have a good knowledge of it isn’t awkward at all.

5:31 p.m. Kobe and Pau both get on the board and the score is tied at 20.

5:33 p.m. Speaking of lack of knowledge, here is something I don’t understand: Offense at the end of quarters. When the shot clock is turned off, it is so rare these days to see a team run a good offensive play to end a quarter. Now, it’s all isolation and the ball-handler, 30 feet from the basket, doesn’t even move until there are about five seconds remaining. Then, he’s left with two undesirable options: Force up a jumper or panic and pass to someone else for another awkward shot. Pierce chose the latter there, but that’s what happens when you just stand in place until three seconds are left. I know you don’t want the other team to get another shot, but so often, that mindset paralyzes a team from doing anything at the end of a quarter.

5:37 p.m. A ad for Clippers season tickets just aired here. It just showed Blake Griffin … rehabbing. OH MAN, I AM SO PSYCHED FOR NEXT YEAR!! LOOK AT HOW BLAKE IS WORKING THAT STAIRCASE!!

5:38 p.m. Boston works out to a six-point lead with a couple of jumpers. The Lakers defense is so sluggish sometimes.

5:38 p.m. Sasha Vujacic just trying to make sure people realize that he’s playing in this series. Those were some atrocious 3-point attempts.

5:42 p.m. Kobe settles for another fade-away jumper from the corner that is way off the mark and leads to a Boston fast break. Celtics now up by eight thanks to more hustle, better defense and smarter shot selection. That trio usually leads to wins.

I mean, just look at Nate Robinson. Just him attempting to get that steal means something positive. Hustles never hurts.

5:43 p.m. Lakers are 8 for 27 from the field. Celtics are 15 for 24, and they haven’t shot a free throw yet.

5:45 p.m. Instead of forcing up another stupid shot, Kobe draws the defense in and then dishes out for a 3 from Vujacic. That’s the smartest thing he’s done so far. It’s probably the only smart thing he’s done so far.

5:47 p.m. Rondo has those layups down. And he got fouled while driving into the lane. Wow.

5:50 p.m. Lakers have no business being this close, but Boston is letting them back in. Six turnovers for the Cs, four in the past five minutes.

5:53 p.m. Gasol has two shots, Bryant is just 2 for 6 from the floor and the Lakers are down by just one past the midway point of the second quarter. That is shocking to me.

5:54 p.m. Another bad decision by Kobe is negated by yet another turnover from Boston.

5:55 p.m. Yeah, that’s a nice bit of acting from Artest. How can a man who weighs 90 pounds less than him push him to the ground with a left hand? But he sold it.

5:55 p.m. Kobe’s missed a few technical free throws this series. He may never miss another one ever again.

5:56 p.m. Jeff Van Gundy wants officials to penalize people who flop. Seriously. That would be so impossible, it’s not even cool to suggest.

5:57 p.m. An Artest 3 and a Kobe basket gives the Lakers a one-point lead, but then Pierce makes a great 3 on the other end and Pau tips in a rebound attempt. Only problem is that he tipped it in the wrong basket. Gasol has scored as many points for the Celtics tonight as he has for the Lakers. Good times.

6:02 p.m. Paul Pierce has really come to play tonight. Or at least to shoot. He is 6-for-9 shooting for 13 points.

Fisher has to take that open 3.

6:06 p.m. Once again, another horrendous possession to end the quarter. It’s just amazing to watch!

6:08 p.m. As has been said, the Lakers are pretty fortunate to be within six if you look at the stats. Boston shooting almost twice as good as the Lakers from the field. Boston’s nine turnovers and some Lakers free throws are keeping them in it.

6:11 p.m. The Celtics are collapsing in the paint, but if that’s the case, Pau and Kobe have to try to draw fouls. The Lakers aren’t going to survive with him taking jumpers all night.

And Gasol, in order to get to the line, needs to touch the ball first. That’s been a hard task to accomplish.

6:12 p.m. Pierce is on his way to his best field goal shooting performance of the playoffs. Rondo and Garnett are chipping in and while the bench hasn’t supplied a lot of offense, the defense from those guys has been top notch.

6:18 p.m. As I write this, both pitchers in the White Sox-Cubs game have something special going in the top of the sixth. Hint: Both are not quite perfect.

Why can’t I ever attend such a game???? Waaaaaaaaaaaaa.

6:25 p.m. Phil Jackson basically summed it up: “They” are shooting 65 percent. “We” are shooting 33 percent and we’re still in the game. A little passing would make the Lakers even better.

6:28 p.m. Nice give-and-go by Rondo and Garnett to open the second half and the lead is back up to eight.

6:29 p.m. Well, at least Pau got the ball and went hard to the basket. That’s a positive. It was just a better block by Boston. And that led to 3 from — whom else? — Pierce. Now up to 11.

6:30 p.m. Remember what I said about Bryant never missing another tech free throw ever again? That lasted about 35 minutes.

6:33 p.m. Kobe Bryant is trying his best right now, but he’s not getting any help on either end. He’s scored 10 points already in this quarter. Again, they are all jumpers, tough shots, and Boston will have to live with that. But the Lakers aren’t playing good defense and no one is stepping up on the offensive end other than Kobe.

Of course, it’s hard to help out on offense if one person is taking all the shots.

6:34 p.m. Pau just looks so out of this game and the Lakers look like the older team.

6:37 p.m. But how about Paul Pierce?! 10-for-13 shooting. And now Kobe wants to guard him.

But Artest is still on Pierce as we come back from break.

6:40 p.m. Holy cow. Now Kobe can’t miss from anywhere on the floor, or above the floor. Right-handed push layup while in mid-air, fading to the right? Ugh!

6:41 p.m. But the Celtics keep socoring on the other end.

6:42 p.m. Yeah, I see where Bryant is hitting these shots, but look at the score! The Lakers are still down by eight after all of this. The Celtics are shooting 80 percent in this quarter!

6:44 p.m. That’s the way to approach it, Doc. Don’t worry about Kobe. You can’t stress over his crazy makes. Just stop everyone else. The Celtics are doing that.

6:45 p.m. Gasol blocked again, but Kobe there to draw the foul. In the fourth quarter, I can’t imagine Kobe taking a rest.

And Gasol shouldn’t take a rest either. He hasn’t done anything. He should be rested while on the court! He certainly looks like he is asleep.

6:47 p.m. I’ll say it. This game is over. The Celtics are picking apart the Lakers on offense. They can do it in so many ways. They are still showing more hustle and are putting a cap on everyone but Kobe.

6:48 p.m. And when they try to get the ball to Gasol, he’s not looking for it. Celtics up by 13.

6:50 p.m. By the way, both pitchers in the Chicago-Chicago game, Ted Lilly and Gavin Floyd still have “something special” and they are in the bottom of the seventh!!

6:53 p.m. Pau Gasol scores a basket!! It didn’t exactly go in the hoop, but goaltending works. That’s the first Laker to score in this quarter not named Kobe Bryant.

6:55 p.m. Kobe on the bench for the final two minutes of the third.

What a ridiculous block by Tony Allen!! Holy Jesus!! That basically sums up Gasol’s night. He is getting rejected by guys more than half a foot shorter than him.

6:59 p.m. With everything Bryant did that quarter, Boston still added to its lead. The Celtics are now shooting 64.7 percent for the game. I’m surprised it fell. They were 8 for 10 from the floor to start the third.

7:00 p.m. My dad wanted the Lakers to be within four at the end of the quarter. Not so much.

7:01 p.m. The Cubs scored a run on two hits in the bottom of the seventh, but Ted Lilly is now five outs away from …. a less-than-one hitter.

7:02 p.m. Gasol makes a jumper to start the fourth and it’s back down to six.

7:04 p.m. Back-breaking possession by the Celtics. The Lakers guard well for 22 seconds, and then just let Nate Robinson go for an easy two. Nine-point game with nine minutes to play.

7:08 p.m. Ted Lilly is now within three outs. He has to bat in the bottom of the eighth. There is no way he should be swinging at anything.

7:09 p.m. It’s also raining in Chicago, so he has that to deal with. I now care more about this game than Lakers-Celtics.

7:11 p.m. Overall, this has been a pretty well-officiated game. Maybe I’m saying that because the officials have called only 30 fouls.

7:12 p.m. Another easy bucket for Boston. It’s like a reoccurring nightmare for the Lakers’ defense.

And when the Celtics ever do miss a shot, the Lakers either bat it out of bounds or get boxed out on the boards.

7:14 p.m. As Perkins picks up a questionable foul, Lilly takes the mound. I am going to watch that game for three outs.

Bynum gave that foul back though.

7:16 p.m. We start the ninth with Juan Pierre as a pinch hitter with the rain falling …

And on his second second pitch, Pierre lines a shot over Lilly’s head and into center field AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!

Watch the next batter hit a two-run shot and Lilly lose the game. Ha! OK, back to the actual purpose of this post: Basketball. Celtics up by six with six to play.

7:18 p.m. Dude, Dwayne! Where’s Gabrielle at?!?!

7:19 p.m. A nice shot by Garnett, and two Lakers turnovers … Celtics quickly back up by 10. It’s like they are playing with six men on the court.

7:21 p.m. Lakers look tired. Those passes are sloppy and lazy. Three in a row.

7:22 p.m. Do you think the Celtics want it more?!?!?! RONDO SKIES OVER BRYANT AND NEXT TO ODOM FOR A PUT-BACK TIP-IN. THEY WANT IT SO MUCH MORE!!!

7:23 p.m. Bryant is clearly frustrated. As he should be. Yeah, he’s done it all and no one else has done much of anything. Now, part of that’s because he’s taken 24 shots, but no other player is even thinking about shooting when they have a chance.

7:25 p.m. The Celtics have sturdier hands, too. It seems like every rebound, even the ones that the Lakers actually get, have to bounce or slip out of their hands at least once. Whenever the Celtics touch a loose ball, they capture it ferociously.

7:26 p.m. Back at Wrigley, the Chi Sox have loaded the bases with one out. Lilly is out. Carlos Marmol is in versus Paul Konerko. The Cubs decided to walk Alex Rios to load the bases and face Konerko.

The gamble paid off as Konerko grounded out to first and the Cubs went to the plate for the force. Konerko should have been doubled up, but the catcher, Koyie Hill, never looked toward first for some reason.

7:27 p.m. Now Carlos Quentin at the plate.

7:29 p.m. Quentin popped out to center to end the game.

7:30 p.m. Yeah, the Celtics are in the penalty, but the Lakers have to still MAKE the free throws. A shaky proposition at best.

7:34 p.m. OK, I tried to defend the officials, but that is a horrible call on Ray Allen. In fact, there is no call. But because it’s Kobe and he throws his arms up, they ring it up. In this situation, where a call like that can put the Lakers back into the game, that’s a ridiculous whistle.

7:36 p.m. Someone throws something onto the court as Kobe shoots his third of three free throws. Someone please escort Mr. Remy out of the building.

7:37 p.m. Even when it’s a disputed call, the Lakers STILL can’t get an offensive board. A-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Pathetic.

7:39 p.m. I just looked at the stats and somehow the Lakers have a 13-7 edge in O-boards. That mystifies me.

7:40 p.m. Somehow, the Lakers win the tip — off another missed rebound! — and it leads to a foul by Pierce.

7:41 p.m. Artest misses both free throws. Lakers are 17 for 26 from the line. Um, that’s not championship-caliber.

7:43 p.m. WHAAAAAAAAAAT WAS THAT?!?! The toss into Pierce is perfect, right over Fisher. He somehow tosses it cross the court to Rondo while falling out of bounds. Rondo snags it with his right hand, which was almost behind his head, and somehow handles it and puts in a reverse layup all in one motion!!!!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!

7:48 p.m. People in Boston starting to sing “Na na naaaaaaaa-na, goodbye!” They understand that you need four wins to finish the series, right?

7:48 p.m. Hey, where are Frank Caliendo’s fan club behind the ESPN booth?

7:49 p.m. Boston wins, 92-86. Boston leads three games to two in the series going back to Los Angeles.

7:51 p.m. Kevin Garnett making good use of the seven-second drop.

7:52 p.m. Kobe ends up with 38 points on 13-of-27 shooting. Gasol gets a (soft) 12 points and no one else scores in double figures. The Lakers outrebounded, 35-34, and actually won the advantage on the offensive glass. But late in the game, the Celtics got to more loose balls.

7:55 p.m. The Celtics had more turnovers, fewer free throws (by 13) and shot just 25 percent from behind the 3-point line. But they shot 56.3 percent for the game compared to the Lakers’ 39.7. They were faster and clearly wanted it more. That’s been clear in the past two games.

Four Celtics scored more than 10 points, led by Pierce’s 27. His 12 field goals were his most since the next-to-last game in the regular season. The bench didn’t do a whole lot in the stat sheet, but its defense — TONY ALLEN — made a big difference.

8:01 p.m. I can’t wait to read the L.A. papers tomorrow. A ton of columnists should bash this team for its lack of effort tonight. A good defense is one thing, but they looked disinterested and tired at many times. And Pau Gasol was a disaster. He should get ripped for his play in the first three quarters.

8:02 p.m. But now the Lakers go home and doesn’t this feel destined for seven games? I think Game 6 might be a blowout for the Lakers. But I don’t think I’ve predicted one game in this series correctly yet.

8:11 p.m. I’m going to cut this blog off here as I’m trying to eat dinner with the family and type at the same time. But I’ll have more to say about this later.

I HOPE to write another running blog on Tuesday night for Game 6, but I might not be home for the game. It’s 50-50. I know you all are holding your breath on that one.

Much thanks to everyone who stopped by tonight!

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