Veteran point guard joined backcourt mate Bryant in hoisting bricks but got to line all night and played key part in L.A.'s hot start and big finish. His three-point play in third put the Lakers up 68-64 and got crowd into game.
MVP couldn't find basket after torrid start (15 points in first) but found other ways to lead his team to victory (seven rebounds, five steals, four assists). His pickpocket of Pierce was play of the game.
Smooth lefty joined with Gasol in providing much-needed help across the board for Bryant. Also took part in highlight play of game, retrieving loose ball and feeding Kobe for clinching dunk.
57 min., 17 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists
Not a great night but they did enough, thanks in large part to Jordan Farmar (11 points on 5-of-9 shooting). Sasha Vujacic (four points on 2-of-10 shooting) had another terrible night shooting the ball. Chris Mihm made his first appearance of playoffs and picked up three fouls right away.
Phil Jackson, Head Coach
Zen Master had team ready to play in desperate situation, but flirted with disaster by going to bench early. And why the decision to dust off Mihm? At least he figured out a way to get his team to play the third quarter.
Tough night for sophomore point guard. Missed 6-of-7 shots and got burned in key sequence in third quarter, fouling Derek Fisher for three-point play, then turning it over at other end to set up big Lakers' three-pointer.
Most consistent member of Big Three so far in series didn't have it on this night, misfiring on 4-of-5 three-point attempts in second half. Facing a difficult personal situation, his off night is understandable.
L.A. native tried his darndest to win it in his hometown but came up short. Too bad his miscue at the end will be remembered more than his 12 points in the fourth or his heavy-lifting in erasing 19-point first-half deficit.
Big Ticket might have been too keyed up for clincher. Scored early, and hit boards all night, but faded down stretch and missed two huge free throws at end. Now he'll have to wait at least one more game for long-sought ring.
100 min., 28 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists
Despite being thinned by Perkins' injury, they did their best to keep Celtics in game. Sam Cassell (nine points), Tony Allen (six), Eddie House (six), Brown (four) and Posey (three) combined to outscore their L.A. counterparts, 28-17. They also won the rebounding battle, 11-2.
Doc Rivers, Head Coach
Not much to fault here. Navigated injuries and foul trouble. Kept his team poised after big early deficit. Used timeouts wisely. But did he bail on Rondo too quickly?
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.