BOSTON -- It's a familiar look, one easily identifiable from Oklahoma City to Salt Lake City, from Phoenix to Boston. The jaw juts out, the nostrils start to flare and the eyes practically glow from the upward flowing fuel of anger and excitement. It's Kobe, doin' work.
"The guy is Kobe Bryant," shrugged Celtic coach
Rivers, of course, could afford to be generous with his praise. His team won. Despite Bryant's 33-point, six-rebound effort, the Celtics were able to outlast the Lakers in the fourth quarter thanks to an even better effort by their own second unit. Though Bryant continued to put up big numbers (12 in the fourth), the rest of his team couldn't slow the Celtics 36-point fourth quarter onslaught. And with his team looking to him to pull them from the fire, Bryant finally succumbed to the fatigue of 43 grueling minutes.
"He was tired," said Laker coach
Indeed, the Celtic made Bryant work. A cacophony of whistles prevented Boston from imposing their will physically on Bryant in the first three games but with the trio of
"They are a great scheming team," said Bryant. "They have a strategy in place and they execute it really well. It's a great defense. It's right up there with the best of them."
Scheme all they want, Boston can't devise anything to stop
"I'm not really concerned about [making adjustments], to be honest with you," said Bryant. "I'm more concerned about getting rebounds and getting the loose balls and stuff like that. When push comes to shove, I can always get a bucket."
Truer words have not been spoken, at least not in this series. The Celtics have slowed