Derek Fisher, at 35 years old, is playing like a 25-year old. The guy is ageless. Sixteen big points last night. He was huge in the fourth quarter, really just took over. He's something else and was very emotional after the game. It was pretty moving really. He's a nice guy. Some people have accused him of being a dirty player, and at times, like when he hit Steve Nash in the nose, it seems like he is. But he has the heart of a lion and he is so competitive. Lakers won 91-84. After the game, Kobe said, "Derek was Derek." And Kobe was Kobe. The comparisons with Michael Jordan are really not as far-fetched as they may seem. Kobe had 29. He was only 1-for-7 from trifecta and 10-for-29 from the field, but he made a lot of big shots particularly in the first half. He was 8-for-8 from the line. Pau Gasol went for 13 and 10. Lamar Odom was five-for-five off the bench and finished with 12 points.
KG finally stepped up for the Celtics with 25 and six boards. He needs to get more boards. The Lakers outrebounded the Celtics 43-35. The length of the Lakers is causing the Celtics some problems. There is a rumor that Andrew Bynum may be struggling a little bit with an injury. We'll see in Game 4.
Paul Pierce had 15, so he was a little better. Rondo had 11 and 8 assists. But Ray Allen had a terrible night. He was 0-for-13 from the field including 0-for-8 from three point range. Fisher was all over for him. Pierce is going to have to step up even more in this series. It doesn't seem like the Celtics can get a consistent effort from their Big Four in one game. Those four have to play better together. They can get it done if two play well. But if they could get at least three of the four playing well, that would help a lot. If all four play well, they win the series.
But Fisher was the man last night and staked the Lakers to a 2-1 lead. Game 4 is at Boston tomorrow night at 8 on ABC. Boston, as resilient a team as there is, needs to rely on that resiliency to prevent themselves from digging a hole they can't get out of.
I heard an amazing stat yesterday. In this two-three-two format (Two at LA, three at Boston and two at LA) the team that wins game three is 10-0 in the series. We'll see what happens.
Boston's big four are going to have to play better ball if they want to win the NBA title. Kobe, Fisher and the Lakers looked very strong last night. It was kind of a rerun from game two when Boston controlled the game. The Celtics, not a great home team, are in a must win game tomorrow night. If they lose, it could be over.
(Derek Fisher took over in the fourth quarter, photo above)