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Report Card, Game 4

NBA Finals Report Card: Game 4
Los Angeles Lakers
 
B-
Derek Fisher, PG
25 min., 13 points (4-5 FG, 0-1 3PT, 5-6 FT), 0 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 TOs
Nice bounce-back game for veteran point guard, with nine points and three assists in first half. Like most of his fellow starters, though, he didn't do enough over final 24 minutes.
B
Kobe Bryant, SG
43 min., 17 points (6-19 FG, 0-2 3PT, 5-6 FT), 4 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 TOs
Heartbroken MVP once more couldn't find his shooting touch against Celtics swarming defense. Did a nice job as playmaker (team-high 10 assists, four steals), but 6-of-15 shooting in second half doomed his team's chances.
B
Pau Gasol, C
38 min., 17 points (6-13 FG, 0-0 3PT, 5-7 FT), 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 TO
Spanish center once again put up decent numbers but couldn't make his 7-foot presence fully felt. Fair or not, it looks as if that "soft" label isn't going away any time soon.
D
Vladimir Radmanovic, SF
27 min., 10 points (3-8 FG, 2-5 3PT, 2-2 FT), 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 0 TOs
Flaky forward contributed early with two three-pointers and three boards in L.A.'s 35-14 first quarter. But joined fellow frontcourt starter Odom in going AWOL in second half.
C
Lamar Odom, PF
39 min., 19 points (8-11 FG, 0-1 3PT, 3-4 FT), 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 TOs
Played like, well, Kevin Garnett, in first half (15 points, eight boards, three assists) before vanishing into thin air over final 24 minutes. At least the lefty sidekick cracked double digits in boards for first time in Finals.
D
The Bench
68 min., 15 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists
So much for the Bench Mob being the difference in this series. Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar combined to shoot 2-of-15 (2-of-8 from downtown) as L.A.'s bench got thoroughly outplayed by their Boston counterparts. Only Trevor Ariza (six points, five boards) can show his face in Hollywood right now.
C
Phil Jackson, Head Coach
Zen Master will be feeling this one for a long time. He had team ready to play and made necessary adjustments to get Odom involved early. But bench play was a disaster, and he failed to find way to prevent Celtics onslaught in second half.
 
Boston Celtics
 
C
Rajon Rondo, PG
17 min., 5 points (2-4 FG, 0-0 3PT, 1-2 FT), 1 rebound, 2 assists, 0 TOs
Slowed by sprained ankle, the slinky second-year point played just 17 minutes. But like Perkins, his absence allowed Eddie House to get on floor.
A-
Ray Allen, SG
48 min., 19 points (6-11 FG, 2-6 3PT, 5-5 FT), 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 TO
Another stellar effort from third member of Big Three. Helped keep C's in game early, hit boards like madman and delivered big blow late while playing all 48 minutes.
C
Kendrick Perkins, C
13 min., 2 points (1-3 FG, 0-0 3PT, 0-0 FT), 1 rebound, 0 assists, 0 TOs
Did very little before leaving game with injured shoulder. Turned out to be best thing for Boston, opening door for small lineup.
B+
Paul Pierce, SF
42 min., 20 points (6-13 FG, 0-3 3PT, 8-9 FT), 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 TOs
Shook off slow start to help wipe away that 24-point deficit, scoring 14 of 20 points in the second half. Also helped put the clamps on Kobe with physical defense down the stretch.
B+
Kevin Garnett, PF
37 min., 16 points (7-14 FG, 0-0 3PT, 2-2 FT), 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 TOs
The Big Ticket wasn't at his best, especially early, but he personified his team's comeback by never giving up. His six points and two boards led the way in the fourth quarter.
A-
The Bench
83 min., 35 points, 14 rebounds, 1 assist
For the third time in Finals, they outplayed their more celebrated counterparts. This time it was James Posey (18 points) and House (11) doing most of the damage, but P.J. Brown (monster dunk at end of third), Leon Powe (bucket to bring Celtics into tie at 73-73 for first time) and even Tony Allen (first appearance in Finals) made memorable contributions.
A
Doc Rivers, Head Coach
His decision to go to smaller shooting lineup turned the game and helped fuel the comeback. Maybe he had no other choice given his team's injuries, but Doc went to the right guys at the right time.
 
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