The Los Angeles Lakers Out Vet the Boston Celtics 91-84 in NBA Finals Game 3: Derek Fisher Stars As Mr. Clutch!

The drive for five continues…

Just when the Celtics were playing as if a furious comeback would be complete, Derek Fisher stepped up, put the franchise he loves so much and represents so well on his back and willed the Los Angeles Lakers to a critical 91-84 Game 3 win. The Lakers lead the best of 7 NBA Finals series 2-1 with Game 4 Thursday in Boston at 9 pm EST on ABC.

Fisher’s most poignant words in the presser were “It’s like being a kid…man you never get tired of that candy.”

His full court drive…the bucket plus the bump and subsequent three point play with three Celtics defending and Los Angeles clinging to a 4 point lead with a little less than a minute remaining was the dagger.

Fisher hasn’t been getting a lot of respect from anyone but tried and true Lakers fans in part because he’s matched up with a walking Oscar in Rajon Rondo. Tonight he was the baller. He made the critical shots and his will won the game. Derek Fisher was most definitely the difference. If the Lakers win the series, it’s going to be difficult for the organization to not strongly consider Fisher’s jersey raised to the rafters after he eventually hangs them up. His 32 playoff wins are tied with Shaquille O’Neal for first all time.

In a contest that was ugly and resembled the Eastern Conference Knicks/Heat/Bulls/Pistons of the ’90′s, Fisher’s 16 points (10 in the 4th) stood out. He was quite emotional after the game and no one on the floor deserved a win more.

Fisher’s high game during the regular season was 15 points. He scored 5 of his 6 field goals in the 4th.

Fisher averages 13.6 points on road and 8 points at home these playoffs. He’s also shooting 51% away from Staples.

Kobe Bryant made some tough clutch shots and had some big defensive plays as well and finished with 29 points and 7 boards on 10-29 shooting. When the Lakers doubled Bryant, Fisher took advantage.

Pau Gasol had 13 and 10. Lamar Odom with 12 (perfect from the field 5-5 and converted his only free throw) had more points in Game 3 than he did in both Games 1 and 2 combined. Andrew Bynum had 9 points and 10 boards.

After the Celtics led by 7 points in the first quarter, the Lakers closed the quarter 21-5 and then opened the second with a 11-3 run to basically take command of the game.

The Celtics never led in the second half.

Ray Allen scored just 2 points. He was 0-13 from the field and 0-8 from the arc after setting a NBA record with 8 threes in Game 2. Only Dennis Johnson in 1978 and Chick Reiser in 1948 had worse shooting games (0-14) in Finals history. He was wide open in Game 2 but not so much in Game 3. He had the worse game statistically of his career in terms of misses. In 1,119 games he has been held scoreless from the field just 8 times. He should rebound for Game 4.

Paul Pierce was 5-12 for 15 points in 33 minutes. He’s 7-23 the last two games.

Kevin Garnett had a nice bounce back performance He scored early (was 5-5 at one point) and finished with 25 and 6 rips.

He and Pierce both had 5 fouls and that Pierce was saddled with fouls essentially took him out of his rhythm in a game the Celtics needed to win and totally swing momentum in their favor.

Rondo had 11 and 8 assists but shot a mere 1-4. Glen Davis gave up his body against a taller more athletic Lakers front line and did what he could in scoring 12.

Ron Artest scored only 2 points, but his big boy defense on Pierce seems to be huge in this series.

Artest came up with a big turnover of Big Baby Davis late after missing a bad three on the offensive end. He commented: “I just stayed in the game defensively and stayed Ron Artest and then had a Ron Artest play at the end.”

Classic Artest. He Keeps it 100%

Boston cannot win this series if the Big Three do not all find it. Rajon Rondo needs to have a bigger impact as well. 1-4 is not gonna get it from the second best player in these playoffs.

The Celtics were out rebounded 40-35 but outscored the Lakers 50-38 in the paint.

Boston led the Los Angeles 12-8 in fast break points. It seems if the Celtics are able to get out in transition, they are able to counter the Lakers size advantage. The Lakers had 7 blocks to the Celtics 2 after setting a Finals record 14 in Game 2.

There were two critical calls overturned by replays.  On the second, the ball appeared to go off Lamar Odom but only because he was fouled. The NBA has to tinker with its replay system to more scrutinize those types of plays and also be more in tune with game flow.

The refs haven’t had a good series, but there really should be no excuses tonight. The Lakers took this from the Celtics.

The teams combined for 6-33 from behind the arc (Boston 4-18, L.A. 2-15).

The Lakers are 5-4 on the road these playoffs including closeouts in OKC and Phoenix. After neglecting to win in Boston in the 2008 Finals, the Lakers finally break through and win in TD Bank North.

Since the NBA Finals shifted to a 2-3-2 format in 1985 (Lakers/Celtics), the winner of Game 3 after a 1-1 tie is 10-0 in the series. In all formats the Game 3 winner has won 28-32 series.

LA Lakers
Player Pos Min FGM-FGA FTM-FTA 3M-3A +/- OR Reb A Blk Stl TO PF Pts
P. Gasol F 38:58 5-11 3-6 0-0 0 2 10 4 2 0 1 2 13
R. Artest F 23:21 1-4 0-0 0-2 -12 1 3 1 1 0 1 2 2
A. Bynum C 29:11 3-9 3-3 0-0 0 5 10 0 1 0 1 2 9
K. Bryant G 43:52 10-29 8-8 1-7 +10 2 7 4 3 2 1 2 29
D. Fisher G 40:48 6-12 4-4 0-3 +8 0 3 1 0 0 2 5 16
L. Odom 27:51 5-5 1-1 1-1 +14 1 5 1 0 0 1 4 12
S. Brown 15:31 2-3 0-0 0-1 +1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 4
L. Walton 13:07 1-1 0-0 0-0 +13 0 2 1 0 0 0 2 2
J. Farmar 7:02 1-2 0-0 0-1 -1 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 2
S. Vujacic 0:19 0-0 2-2 0-0 +2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
D. Mbenga DNP — COACH’S DECISION
J. Powell DNP — COACH’S DECISION
A. Morrison DNP — INACTIVE
Totals 240 34-76
(.447)
21-24
(.875)
2-15
(.133)
- 11 43 13 7 2 8 20 91
Boston
Player Pos Min FGM-FGA FTM-FTA 3M-3A +/- OR Reb A Blk Stl TO PF Pts
P. Pierce F 33:57 5-12 2-3 3-4 +1 0 2 2 0 0 0 5 15
K. Garnett F 31:45 11-16 3-4 0-0 0 2 6 3 1 0 3 5 25
K. Perkins C 21:42 1-4 3-4 0-0 +7 5 11 1 0 0 2 2 5
R. Allen G 42:09 0-13 2-2 0-8 -10 1 4 2 0 0 2 2 2
R. Rondo G 42:28 5-10 1-4 0-1 +2 0 3 8 0 2 0 4 11
G. Davis 23:42 4-5 4-5 0-0 -11 0 3 0 0 0 3 3 12
T. Allen 19:54 3-4 1-2 0-0 -5 0 2 1 0 0 0 1 7
R. Wallace 18:40 1-5 0-0 0-3 -10 0 4 3 1 2 0 4 2
N. Robinson 5:43 2-4 0-0 1-2 -9 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5
M. Daniels DNP — COACH’S DECISION
M. Finley DNP — COACH’S DECISION
S. Williams DNP — COACH’S DECISION
T. Gaffney DNP — INACTIVE
O. Lafayette DNP — INACTIVE
B. Scalabrine DNP — INACTIVE
Totals 240 32-73
(.438)
16-24
(.667)
4-18
(.222)
- 8 35 20 2 4 10 27 84
Officials: Dan Crawford, Bennett Salvatore, Bill Kennedy
Attendance: 18,624
Time of Game: 2:44

Kobe was a little more chipper tonight…

A Fisher highlight reel…

22 Responses to “The Los Angeles Lakers Out Vet the Boston Celtics 91-84 in NBA Finals Game 3: Derek Fisher Stars As Mr. Clutch!”

  1. Temple3 says:

    In my write-up on Game 2, I talked about how impressive Fisher has been in this series. He was a +4 in 34 minutes of the Lakers loss. Kobe was something like -9. Last night just reinforced the type of consistent player he has been for years. He doesn’t always give you points, but he ALWAYS gives you something.

    And, like I said weeks ago, when it’s all said and done, Derek Fisher’s place in that barber shop conversation is going to be considerably more favorable than many other celebrated point guards.

    I thought Boston lost the game by going with Ray Allen for too long. Doc Rivers had two big opportunities to play Rasheed Wallace. He could have matched up as follows: Garnett-Artest; Wallace-Gasol; Perkins-Bynum; Pierce/Tony Allen-Bryant; and Rondo-Fisher. Twice (in the 3rd and late in the 4th) when Boston’s offense stalled because of poor spacing and missed shots, the culprits were long misses by Ray Allen or Pierce AND clogged lanes with T. Allen and Perkins and Rondo on the court.

    Rasheed would have opened all of that up and allowed Garnett to rest while guarding Artest. Limited time, limited shots — still had 4 boards, 3 assists and 2 steals.

    Great game for Fisher!

  2. Temple3 says:

    Since Fisher and Odom were the only Lakers with more than 2 fouls, I am sure there will be a hew and cry from fans and the media about the bias in the officiating. LOL.

  3. mapoui says:

    the officiating sucks big time. it is having a major if not decisve impact on this series.

    I tuned out last night on Pierces fifth foul.

    I wont be tuning back in until I read or hear that the officiating has eased up and is allowing the baskeball to play.

    I love the game and in the end I really dont care who wins between these two teams.

    but when players like Kobe and Pierce are sitting down , the game is on the line and they cant be part of it because some sick referes are imposing themselves on the game….screw it! I simply wont watch or otherwise participate.

    I have no idea why the NBA wont do something about the officiating! maybe stern sees that crap as part of the drama of a game, I dont know.

    not to me however! the game is the thing and the refs are there to faciliate the play not to run riot with the whistles.

    there is far more than enough drama in the contest between the players and coaches for me

  4. mapoui says:

    seems like every damm game the refs pick on a player.

    the first game it was allen…then kobe..now pierce….

    who will it be tomorrow nite?

  5. Temple3 says:

    If the pattern holds, tomorrow night the target will either be Gasol or Bynum.

    I think players and fans routinely overreact to fouls. I certainly do. (Although nothing annoys me more than Kendrick Perkins under the basket doing his best imitation of Charles Oakley/Charles Smith/Anthony Mason/Mychal Thompson. UGGGH!!!!) Last night, I saw Garnett get whistled and simply raise his hand without saying a peep. It was refreshing.

    Conversely, Sheed went straight to the histrionics…He was whistled for a foul — and I know he believed he never touched the shooter — and I don’t think he did either, but he brought his arms down. Refs have strictly enforced that “Verticality” rule in the series. That’s what had Odom is such a bind early.

  6. KevDog says:

    Fish was crying because coming into Boston, the Celtics, because of 2008, KNEW they could beat the Lakers, but the Lakers, again because of 2008, and just as T3 has been harping on, THOUGHT they could beat the Celtics in Boston.

    The game was won because our will to win equaled theirs and because we’re better. They play their hardest, we play our hardest, we win. We werent sure of that before last night, we are now.

    As I said, Lakers in 6.

  7. Temple3 says:

    “Both teams played hard.”

  8. KevDog says:

    LOL!

  9. mapoui says:

    I thought wallace was more influenced by the state of the game and the consquences to his team of an infraction he did not commit.

    methink the refs ought to try the utmost to deal with infractions on their merit and put aside general rules or tendencies in officiating. its the playoffs.

    the refs are helping mightily to determine the outcome of this series. its unconscionable

  10. Big Man says:

    Temple, good stuff on Sheed. Like my homeboy said, “Does Doc think it’s illegal to play Sheed and Kg together?”

    Seriously, downt he stretch I thought Doc should have considered playing the two of them together and forcing the Lakers to make Pau and Lamar guard KG and Sheed in the crunch. With the way KG was going at Gasol, and KG’s ability to stay with Odom on defense, it would have been a good matchup.

    I also agree that Ray needed more rest early in the fourth and Doc should have considered Nate.

    But, Big Baby and Tony Allen were playing well, so I understand his hesitation.

  11. mapoui says:

    I also saw Bynum sitting and decidedly favouring his right knee last nite!

    Oh Oh I thought immediately! Bynum has been an impressive presence in the games so far. It would be unfortunate for everybody if he was unable to continue.

    the refs may have to find someone else to pick on on thursday

  12. Temple3 says:

    Mizzo:

    As you know, I’m not big on dogging the officials. The only teams that can compete with the Lakers and Celtics for favorable calls are the 12 Disciples and the Harlem Globetrotters.

  13. michelle says:

    LA in 6.

  14. KevDog says:

    T3
    I absolutely disagree with you vis-a-vis preferential treatment of refs towards the Lakers and Celtics.

    In fact, I’d argue that because they are the two best teams, and human nature being what it is, and the NBA’s continued desire to extend series, the refs tend to give the calls to the other teams in order to make things more competitive.

    As a matter of fact, coming into the finals, the Cavs led the league in the playoffs with +55 FT’s compared to their opponents, the Celtics were tied for 7th with a -4 and the Lakers led the league with an astounding -99!

  15. Temple3 says:

    For 2010, I feel you.

    Over the past 4 or 5 decades, I’m simply not inclined to believe that these teams tend to receive less favorable calls on average than other teams. I wasn’t referring merely to this season. Surely, when cash cows like Michael Jordan or LeBron James appear, things can change. Historically, however, I can’t imagine that it’s close.

    Part of that is style of play. Part of it is a function of having the best players. This Celtics team wasn’t going to lead anyone in anything related to free throw attempts. I’m just going with my gut…but I think the research on this would have to be more rigorous than looking at FTA’s.

  16. KevDog says:

    T3

    I agree FT attempts don’t tell the entire story. regarding your call for research, I believe there was a paper that came out a few years back where they looked at referring in the NBA over a years long period of time. They concluded that racial bias exists in the calling of fouls. But even stronger in their statistical analysis was that referees tended to make more calls for the home team and they tended to make more calls for the team that is down.

    Regarding playing KG and ‘Sheed at the same time. Not sure it helps that team out as it puts them in terrible spacing and inside/out problems.

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  18. Temple3 says:

    KevDog:

    I was thumbing through the PDF of that report yesterday.

    On the Wallace/Garnett pairing, you’re correct — if KG floats to the perimeter — which, for someone unknown reason, he didn’t do last night. If Garnett can stay within relatively close proximity of the rim, Rasheed can go to the perimeter. He has more range on his shot, anyway. Also, if Garnett makes pivot passes from the post, the C’s can always reverse the ball to ‘Sheed off of either Pierce or Rondo’s action on one side.

  19. Big Man says:

    I believe KG has figured out that he doesn’t need to settle for jumpers against Pau anymore. At least I hope he has.

  20. Mizzo says:

    I just saw this LOL

  21. Dave Reetz says:

    One of the best series I can remember. It seems to me that you have to find a way to make Ray Allen succesfull. Boston wins if Allen plays well.

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