The Celtics once again held a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter on their opponent, yet could not finish the job. This time, it was Kobe Bryant sinking them with a jumper with 7.3 seconds to go, and the Celtics finished their “rivalry week” set of games again Orlando, Atlanta and the Lakers at 0-3.
Julian Benbow has the Celtics upset at a late offensive foul call on Paul Pierce which took away a basket that would’ve given the Celtics a three point lead just prior to Kobe’s shot. Mark Murphy has the Celtics leaving the floor angry after this one. Scott Souza has the Lakers winning a disputed decision on this one. Robert Lee has Kobe doing it once again. Bill Doyle has Paul Pierce and Kobe trading buckets in the closing seconds, but only Kobe’s counted. Jeff Howe has the Celtics unable to finish once again. A. Sherrod Blakely has the Celtics again collapsing down the stretch.
Bob Ryan says that the fans really needed this win to keep their title hopes for this team intact. Steve Bulpett says that the defense is the biggest problem with the Celtics right now. Tim Weisberg says that these losses don’t doom the Celtics chances, but they are a large warning sign. Mike Fine says that these Celtics are too good to be this bad. Jim Fenton has the Celtics looking for answers after a losing January. Paul Flannery says that this reality check might be just what the Celtics need.
Gary Washburn says that the Lakers, and many other teams, are no longer afraid of the outside shooting of Ray Allen, Eddie House or Rasheed Wallace. Michael Muldoon says that Allen is being paid $19 million to make that final shot, and isn’t getting the job done. He also compares this game to the Patriots loss to the Colts this season. Barry Scanlon thinks that the Celtics may need to trade Ray Allen. Peter May says that the Celtics got what they deserved. Rich Levine says that this was much more than just another regular season loss.
Frank Dell’Apa has Rajon Rondo putting on a show yesterday, especially in the second quarter. Jessica Camerato examines the personal rivalry between Paul Pierce and Ron Artest. Chris Forsberg has the Celtics fourth quarter defense again coming up short.
Steve Buckley says that Kobe Bryant just knows how to win. Lenny Megliola has the killer instinct of Kobe dooming the Celtics. Bulpett has Phil Jackson talking about his edgy relationship with Red Auerbach. Lynn Worthy says that the Lakers are better than their title team of a season ago.
Benbow’s notebook has the Celtics staying united and positive as a group. Muldoon’s notebook has the Celtics unhappy with a few calls down the stretch. Murphy’s notebook has Ray Allen coming up short on both ends of the court on the final two possessions of the game. Souza’s notebook has Tony Allen providing a big spark in the second quarter. Lee’s Celtics journal has former URI star Lamar Odom living large in Los Angeles. Doyle’s notebook has Jackson saying that KG isn’t what he used to be. Fenton’s notebook has more on the charge call on Pierce. Forsberg’s notebook has more reaction from the Celtics on the loss. Blakely’s notebook has the Celtics flunking their test of three big games.
Albert R. Breer says that the Patriots’ games against Indy and New Orleans this season showed the difference between themselves and the real Super Bowl contenders. Jim Donaldson says that even if the Colts win this Super Bowl, the Patriots are still the team of the decade.
John Tomase is excited about having the storyline of Josh Beckett’s contract looming over the team this season. John Beattie says that it will be tough for Junichi Tazawa to crack the opening day roster for the Red Sox.
Ken Fang has a look at the Bloomberg Sports Baseball launch.