June 16, 2008
NBA Finals Report Card: Game 5
Los Angeles Lakers
Derek Fisher, PG
35 min., 15 points (3-10 FG, 1-5 3PT, 7-11 FT), 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 TOs
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.
Kobe Bryant, SG
44 min., 25 points (8-21 FG, 4-9 3PT, 5-7 FT), 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 6 TOs
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.
Pau Gasol, C
42 min., 19 points (6-10 FG, 0-0 3PT, 7-10 FT), 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 0 TOs
Spanish big man was no marshmallow on this night, playing aggressively from start to finish. He even showed some emotion, waving arms after big three-point play in third. Muy bueno!
Vladimir Radmanovic, SF
19 min., 7 points (3-6 FG, 1-2 3PT, 0-0 FT), 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 TOs
Typical game for veteran small forward. Started out OK, then disappeared for awhile before returning to bury big corner 3-pointer that put the Lakers up 71-64 in third.
Lamar Odom, PF
41 min., 20 points (8-10 FG, 1-1 3PT, 3-3 FT), 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 TOs
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.
The Bench
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.
Boston Celtics
Rajon Rondo, PG
15 min., 3 points (1-7 FG, 0-0 3PT, 1-2 FT), 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 TOs
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.
Ray Allen, SG
39 min., 16 points (4-13 FG, 3-8 3PT, 5-5 FT), 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 TOs
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.
Leon Powe, C
5 min., 0 points (0-0 FG, 0-0 3PT, 0-0 FT), 2 rebounds, 0 assists, 0 TOs
Second-year forward got the ceremonial start in place of injured Kendrick Perkins (shoulder) and won opening tip. But he quickly gave way to P.J. Brown and/or James Posey as C's went to small lineup.
Paul Pierce, SF
48 min., 38 points (10-22 FG, 2-6 3PT, 16-19 FT), 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 TOs
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.
Kevin Garnett, PF
33 min., 13 points (6-11 FG, 0-0 3PT, 1-4 FT), 14 rebounds, 0 assists, 4 TOs
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.
The Bench
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?

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