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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.