Three things that went right and wrong in Game 3
|06.09.10 at 12:23 am ET|
On Tuesday night at the TD Garden, Ray Allen followed his historic night in Game 2 with one of the worst performances in his Boston career. The Lakers also held the rest of the Celtics offense down, winning Game 3, 91-84, to take a 2-1 series lead (click here for the full recap). The lone bright spot for Boston was Kevin Garnett, who returned to his 2008 finals form. Game 4 is set for Thursday night.
What Went Right
KG answers the call: After having difficulties against the LA big men in the first two games of the series, Kevin Garnett came out of the gates in Game 3 and seemed like a different player. The Celtics found him early as he recorded the first six points of the game, including two field goals on alley-oops from Rajon Rondo. He was back to being KG in the paint, using his wide assortment of moves to score on Pau Gasol. KG answered the bell with 25 points, but didn’t get much help from Ray Allen or Paul Pierce, who both had trouble scoring.
Defense in the second half: Boston allowed 52 first-half points. The second half, however, was a different story as the Celtics tightened up the pressure on the defensive end. Los Angeles managed only 15 points in the third, and Kobe Bryant struggled to get into a rhythm, finishing the night with 29 points on 10-for-29 shooting.
Containing the bigs: After torching Boston for a combined 46 points in Game 2, Gasol and Bynum managed a pedestrian 22 points in Game 3. They still controlled the boards with 10 rebounds each, but couldn’t find the same scoring opportunities they did in the first two games of the series. Bynum and Gasol also didn’t have the same success challenging Boston shots, combining for only three blocks.
What Went Wrong
Ray Allen loses stroke: Allen seemed to forget to pack his shot when leaving for Boston after his historic performance in Game 2. Surprisingly, Allen didn’t make a single field goal in the entire game, finishing 0-for-13 overall and 0-for-8 from beyond the arc. His lack of shooting was easily the difference in the game.
Pierce struggles: When Boston needed points the most, Pierce wasn’t able to get it going until late in the fourth quarter. He finished with 15 points on 5-for-12 shooting, but was whistled for five fouls, causing him to play only 34 minutes.
Offense goes stagnant: A fast start quickly fizzled as the Celtics offense struggled at the end of the first quarter. Boston scored only 17 points in the opening period and had difficulty finding offense with its second unit. The Celtics held the Lakers to 91 points but only managed 84 points themselves. Boston’s defense played much better in the second half, but if it can’t score over 90 points, this series will be short.