December 25, 2008
Los Angeles Lakers (23-5) vs Boston Celtics (27-2)
All I really wanted for Christmas was this victory. Here I am thinking I was on Santa's Naughty List but evidently I wasn't.
There were many reasons why this game had tons of hype and anticipation. The #1 team in the East coming to Los Angeles to play the #1 team in the West, NBA Finals rematch, Christmas Day extravaganza, Celtics going for a 20 game winning streak, Phil Jackson has a chance to get his 1,000th victory and Bynum getting to play this time.
This game as expected was full of excitement and hi-lites. It was a showdown between KB vs KG. Kobe won this battle scoring 27 points with 7 assists. Garnett had 22 points with 9 boards. I still don't really see Phil's true intention behind starting Walton. I know he's more of a slasher than Radmanovic but I still can't see this being a big enough reason for starting position, especially in a big game like today's. Apparently it was a good move, risky but effective.
I tell you one thing, EVERY TIME I see Ariza on the floor it brings a smile on my face, a relief to see that we have someone besides Kobe that will finish strong. Trevor was all over the place, making plays, stealing the ball and finding open guys for easy shots. He was easily the difference in the game.
At times it got physical, as rivalries will bring but it also got a little mouthy among Boston teammates. Rondo and Allen were jawing off at each other which put another smile on my face.
In the end, Gasol scored 7 of his 20 points in the final 3 minutes which sealed the game. Lakers 92 - Celtics 83. Thank you Lakers! We can now officially say that we are better than the Celtics.