Take that, Curt Schilling! MVP led the way from start to finish. Attacked the basket all night, getting to the foul line more in the first six minutes than in either of Games 1 and 2 total. Pumped in 10 big ones in fourth.
Like Odom, 7-foot center was non-contributor offensively for much of the night. But he did lead a much better rebounding effort for L.A., and he flexed at least a little muscle with two big baskets in fourth.
Maybe he's still "confused," as Jackson surmised after Game 2. Once more, Kobe's wingman didn't do much offensively, going scoreless in the fourth. At least he helped a bit on the backboards.
84 min., 29 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists
Welcome to the Finals! What took so long? Led by Sasha Vujacic(pictured) (20 points on seven-of-10 shooting, four boards) and Jordan Farmar (five points, four boards, five assists) the Bench Mob finally lived up to its billing. For the night they outscored their counterparts 29-21, helping rescue Kobe on a night when his fellow starters struggled.
Phil Jackson, Head Coach
His pre-game griping about refs worked, as evidenced by his team's 34-22 edge in free-throw attempts. But it was decision to go with small lineup, especially Vujacic and Farmar, that showed Zen Master still has his touch.
Did his usual yeoman work on defense and boards, but like Pierce, couldn't throw the ball into the Pacific. KG missed nine of first 10 shots, then after a brief flurry in third, went cold again at end.
72 min., 21 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists
Didn't shoot well as a group (five-of-22), but another solid performance. James Posey(pictured) (nine points, seven rebounds), P.J. Brown (three points, two boards) and Sam Cassell (two points) were ready to play from get-go. Eddie House (eight points) hit two big treys in relief of Rondo.
Doc Rivers, Head Coach
Did nice job shuffling lineup to withstand foul trouble. Called right play out of timeout late in game to get KG a dunk. But did he stick too long with House instead of going back to Rondo in fourth?
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