Very interesting half the Celtics  just played. After settling for jump shots in the first, the bench came in and proceeded to not do a whole lot of anything. The lead for the Lakers was nine at one point, but then Eddie House  caught fire and the starters played with renewed energy to take a 52-51 lead into the second half.
Kevin Garnett  has not shown any effects of the flu so far, going for eight points and five rebounds, but Doc Rivers  wasn’t concerned how KG would start. He was worried about how he would finish.
Two numbers stuck out. After going 12 minutes with just two turnovers, the Celtics turned it over seven times in the second quarter, which reflected a more ragged pace. But they played well in the helter-skelter and dominated on the boards, out-rebounding the Lakers 14-6 and getting six offensive boards. Leon Powe  gets a lot of that credit and he had one of his best stretched in recent memory
So, the stage is set for a memorable second half and we’ve got you covered.
Third Quarter Wrap: If you don’t like this you just don’t like basketball. Or sports. Or life in general. You never know how these things are going to play out. These things being heavily hyped regular season games in February, but this one has it all. Great shot-making, stars playing like stars and just enough of an edge to make an NBA highlight video someday.
The fourth quarter awaits.
Third Quarter Observations
— The Celtics are playing great defense to start things off. Even that 3-pointer by Derek Fisher was contested. They’re going for the KO punch early.
— Love the way Pierce is standing up for Rondo right now.
— Got to give the Lakers credit here. The Celtics had them on the ropes and they’ve come right back. Kobe hasn’t been as domineering as I thought he would be, which is actually good for LA.
— That was weird. Odom just slapped KG in the back. And now KG is an angry, angry man.
— Trouble for the C’s as Rondo got his fourth. They need him tonight. I don’t think Doc has confidence in putting Gabe Pruitt  out there in this kind of an environment.
— Odom is all kinds of weirded out it seems. Someone’s going to have to restore some order to this game. My vote is for Pierce. Strange, right? That’s where he is right now as a player. He is the Celtics ballast.
— Bill Belichick  is in the house tonight.
— A three-second call on Kobe. Well now I have seen everything. By the way, Kobe and Pierce are battling.
— It’s a good move by Doc to keep Rondo out until he needs him but they have been out of sorts for the last few trips. They’ve gotten bailed out by a couple of good individual plays but the structure isn’t there right now.
— If the Lakers lose this game they are going to be very very angry at themselves that they missed so many free throws. Also, that they didn’t cover Eddie House.