Lakers/Celtics Game 2 Preview
After getting routed by the Lakers in Game 1 the Celtics get two days off to figure things out before Game 2 goes in Los Angeles on Sunday night. After two close regular season battles it looked like the oddsmakers may have given the Lakers a few too many points when they listed them as a 5.5-point favorite at Bovada in Game 1.
Instead, it turned out the oddsmakers didn't spot the Lakers enough points after Los Angeles cruised to a 102-89 victory. Not much has changed for bettors in Game 2. The Lakers opened as a 6-point home favorite on the early NBA odds.
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In Game 1 Ron Artest set the tone early that the Lakers weren't going to be pushed around after getting into a scuffle for the ball with Paul Pierce. That outburst seemed to ignite the Lakers and they played tougher than a Celtics squad that had manhandled them in the Finals two years earlier. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 30 points and he also added seven rebounds and six assists.
Pau Gasol kept Kevin Garnett in check and wasn't intimidated by Garnett like he was two years ago while scoring 23 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Artest added 15 points, and Andrew Bynum gutted it out on his bad knee while delivering 10 points and six boards. The Celtics’ well-oiled machine that stormed through Orlando in the Eastern Conference Finals broke down against the Lakers.
Paul Piece led Boston with 23 points and nine rebounds, but that was the only notable performance. Kevin Garnett had 16 points, but only four rebounds, while Rajon Rondo was unspectacular while putting up 13 points, six rebounds, and eight assists. It was an especially disappointing night for Ray Allen, who battled foul trouble while recording 12 points. That included going 0-for-2 from three-point range, and the entire Celtics team was off from long distance with only one three-pointer in the entire game.
If the Celtics who played in Game 1 continue to show up for the rest of the series it could end up being a short one. One consolation for the Celtics is that they also lost Game 1 against Cleveland before taking control and dominating the series.
With the win on Thursday night the Lakers have won 10 straight at home while going 6-4 ATS. Going back even further in the regular season the Lakers are 17-3 SU in their last 20 at home, but only 8-11-1 ATS.