We can blame the officials, who once again made a number of curious calls that influenced the outcome of a big NBA game, but really, the Celtics can only blame themselves for their 110-109 overtime defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers, who have now swept the season series from the defending champs. You also have to give the Lakers credit. They never backed down and turtled last night like they did in the finals last June.
Kevin Henkin has another series of rolling observations on the Celtics/Lakers tilt, live from the Garden.
Frank Dell’Apa says so much for home court advantage. Steve Bulpett has the heat from the Garden last night enough to warm a cold winter night. Jessica Camerato says that this wasn’t just another game. Robert Lee has the Lakers with plenty of swagger before and after last night’s game. Scott Souza looks at a reversal of fortune between the two clubs. Bill Doyle has the Lakers ending another long Boston winning streak. Lynn Worthy has Lamar Odom and the Lakers getting some revenge.
Bob Ryan wonders why a game of this magnitude was placed in the hands of third-tier officials. Mike Fine says that there will be no “Beat LA” for the Celtics this season. Couper Moorhead has things getting chippy between the two clubs last night. Paul Flannery says that the Lakers now have the edge in the matchups between the two teams. Bill Burt has a physical Pau Gasol proving to be the difference for the Lakers. Lenny Megliola says that this was a game worthy of the buzz.
Marc J. Spears has a flu-ridden Kevin Garnett sickened at the outcome and having to watch the end of the game after fouling out on an acting job by Derek Fisher. Steve Buckley has more from Garnett, who would welcome the chance to play the Lakers again. Jeff Howe has Phil Jackson still upset at the Celtics celebrations last June. Jennifer Toland has the Lakers making a “statement” with the victory. Gary Fitz says that it will be interesting to see how the Celtics respond to this loss.
Rich Thompson has Ray Allen being named an All Star replacement. Jeff Howe also has Allen joining KG and Pierce for the All Star game. Tim Weisberg has more on Allen’s honor. Lee has history repeating itself for Ray Allen. Jim Fenton also writes about Allen’s selection.
Get more stories and coverage, including from the LA papers, over at CelticsLinks.com.
The Globe notebook has Ray Allen heading back to the All Star Game. Bulpett’s notebook has Doc Rivers steamed over the officiating last night. Lee’s notebook has Brian Scalabrine with a target return date. Souza’s notebook has more on the All Star nod for Allen.
Fluto Shinzawa has P.J. Axelsson able to get some redemption for earlier mistakes in a 4-3 Bruins shootout win in Ottawa last night. Steve Conroy says that the Bruins will take the win, no matter how they got it. Joe Haggerty has more on Axelsson playing the unlikely hero.
The Patriots acted swiftly yesterday and placed the franchise tag on Matt Cassel the very first day they were able to do so.
Mike Reiss has more on perhaps why the Patriots made the move so fast. Karen Guregian says that the applying the tag is just the start of the process for the Patriots and Cassel. Rich Garven says Cassel is the franchise player who isn’t one. Brian MacPherson says that there are plenty of options for Cassel. Shalise Manza Young says that this is the ‘non-exclusive’ franchise tag, meaning that Cassel and his agent can talk to other teams. Ben Swasey has more on the move. Alex Speier and Christopher Price debate whether the Patriots should keep or trade Cassel.
Get more reaction on this move by checking out PatriotsLinks.com.
Michael Vega talks to Mike Lynch about the pain of WCVB Channel 5 losing the Patriots “All Access” show and the preseason games.
Amalie Benjamin has a feature on Lars Anderson. Mike Fine says that the Red Sox look pretty solid in the outfield heading into spring training. Jim Donaldson says that player for player, the Yankees are better than the Red Sox. John Tomase says that losing out on Mark Teixeira might not be the end of the world for the Red Sox. He also looks at how the Red Sox have done harvesting their own talent. Check out more Red Sox news at RedSoxLinks.com.
Kevin Gray has former NH high school star Kyle Jackson looking for a shot with the Blue Jays.
Jim Sullivan has Keith Lockhart & Boston Pops set to release ‘The Red Sox Album.’