Celts Can’t Close It Out, Head Back To Boston

They had their chances. Once again the Celtics fell behind early, this time by 19 points in the first half, before coming back to take the lead. Then in the fourth quarter they trailed by 14 points, and came back to take a lead, and you might’ve thought “Game six Pistons, all over again.” But it wasn’t to be. This series is headed back to Boston.

Mark Murphy has missed opportunity haunting the Celtics in this one. Marc J. Spears has the Celtics unable to close to deal in L.A., despite another big performance from Paul Pierce. Kevin McNamara has the Lakers staying alive by making all the tough plays down the stretch. Dan Shaughnessy says that the Celtics have all the numbers on their side for tomorrow night’s game. Bill Doyle has the Lakers managing to stave off elimination with the win. Jeff Howe says that the Hollywood ending wasn’t in the cards for the Celtics last night.

Kevin Henkin of the BSMW Full Court Press calls this one “a damned shame of a heart-breaking loss.”

Bob Ryan says that this one was there for the taking. Tony Massarotti says that the Celtics MUST win game six as they should want no part of a game seven, even at home. Steve Bulpett examines the one man gang effort of Paul Pierce last night. Christopher L. Gasper also looks at the big game from Paul Pierce going to waste in the loss.

In contrast, Steve Buckley examines a lost night for Kevin Garnett, which was marred by foul trouble, poor shooting, and missing three of four free throws in the clutch. John Tomase looks at Garnett’s habit of blocking shots that are launched well after the play has been called. Jason Whitlock again kills KG, saying he could be the first player to damage his reputation by winning a championship.

Frank Dell’Apa has Sam Cassell, who had a brief run in the fourth quarter last night, saying that the Celtics need to get off to a fast start tomorrow night. Gary Dzen has Rajon Rondo struggling once again in this one. Bulpett has a look at the three Celtics – Scot Pollard, Brian Scalabrine and Gabe Pruitt – who have been inactive for most of the postseason, and what their role on the bench has been. Howe has the Big Three still hoping to begin and end their season in a Duck Boat. Dell’Apa says that the difference between Boston and Los Angeles fans is simply interested fans vs. glitz.

Gasper’s notebook has Ray Allen having to leave last night immediately after the game to tend to an illness to one of his children. Murphy’s notebook has Kendrick Perkins doubtful for game six as well with his shoulder injury. McNamara’s notebook has a look at the Celtics recent improved road performance in the playoffs, and at PJ Brown’s increased role with the team. Doyle’s notebook has more on Perkins’ injury, has a quick look a the draft, and reports that James Posey plans on becoming a free agent this summer.

Lakers

Shira Springer has Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol dominating the Celtics in the paint last night. Jeff Jacobs has Kobe turning the finals into his personal NCAA tournament. Massarotti has a look at the coaching breakdown, and says that Phil Jackson has not distinguished himself in this series.

Steven Herbert has Kobe Bryant finishing off this one by knocking the ball away from Pierce. John Tomase has more on Kobe’s big steal. Spears’ Courtside chatter has Lakers forward Ira Newble trying to raise awareness of issues in China’s involvement in the conflict in Darfur.

Check out the coverage from LA in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register.

Red Sox

The Red Sox won 9-0 in Cincinnati behind Josh Beckett and four home runs yesterday. Check all the coverage on RedSoxLinks.com.

 

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