NBA Finals Game 6 Preview
The Boston Celtics have another NBA title in their sights as they sit one win away from the gold heading into Game 6 against the Lakers on Tuesday night.
To get their 18th title in franchise history the Celtics need a win in Los Angeles in Game 6. Boston doesn't have the greatest record at the Staples Center with a 5-5 mark in their last 10, but they did win Game 2 of the series in L.A. 103-94 as a 5.5-point underdog at Bovada. In Game 6 the Celtics opened as a 6.5-point road dog at Bovada.
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In Game 5 on Sunday night the Celtics outlasted an onslaught by Kobe Bryant to win 92-86 as a 2-point home favorite. Paul Pierce took care of the bulk of the offense for Boston with 27 points, which included keeping up with Bryant when he had the hot hand in the second half. Kevin Garnett posted his first double-double of the series with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Rajon Rondo chipped in with 18 points and eight assists.
Ray Allen netted 12 points, but once again couldn't find his range from behind the three-point line. Allen may have used up all his three-point shooting during his record-breaking performance in Game 2. Since he netted eight threes in that game he hasn't hit another in the entire series, going 0-for-16.
Bryant was a force for the Lakers in the Game 5 loss with 38 points, but the rest of the Lakers lacked any punch which severely limited Los Angeles’ chances for a win. Pau Gasol had 12 points and 12 rebounds while shooting only 5-of-12. Derek Fisher scored only nine points, all in the first quarter, and Andrew Bynum struggled on his wonky knee with six points, which like Fisher all came in the opening quarter.
The Lakers were hoping Lamar Odom would step up and fill Bynum's shoes while his bad knee limited his production, but that never happened in Game 5, as Odom had only eight points and eight rebounds. Game 6 may be played in Los Angeles, but it shouldn't lead to a late night for east coasters, as the game is scheduled to tip off at 9 pm EDT, with coverage coast to coast on ABC.
If the Lakers can survive and win Game 6 then a deciding Game 7 will be played in Los Angeles on Thursday.