Celtics and Lakers rivalry revisited wih the Black Mamba scoring he winning basket with seconds left in the game
Celtics and Lakers rivalry revisited wih the Black Mamba scoring he winning basket with seconds left in the game.
Kobe Bryant sank a go-ahead fallaway jumper with 7.3 seconds left to give the Los Angeles Lakers a 90-89 victory over Boston on Sunday and send the struggling Celtics to their sixth loss in eight games.
The Celtics, who led by 11 points in the fourth quarter, nursed a one-point lead until Paul Pierce was called for an offensive foul for pushing off as he jumped to shoot with 28 seconds left.
Bryant, who shot just 8 for 20 in the game, dribbled down the shot clock before stepping back from defender Ray Allen and making a basket to give Los Angeles the lead.
Bryant finished with 19, and Andrew Bynum had 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Rajon Rondo had 21 points and 12 assists for the Celtics.
The Celtics led 81-70 before the Lakers made the next four baskets. Rasheed Wallace hit a 3-pointer—his only basket of the game—to stop the run, and it was still a three-point game with less than two minutes left when Bryant hit a pair of free throws to make it 87-86.
It was 89-88 when Pierce was called for pushing off. Bryant, who complained of a sore ankle after Friday night’s win in Philadelphia, gave the Lakers the lead, then Allen’s 3-point attempt at the final buzzer bounced harmlessly off the rim.
Pau Gasol had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who won their fourth straight game and beat Boston for the third consecutive time since losing Game 6 of the 2008 NBA finals to watch the Celtics clinch their 17th championship.
Pierce scored 15, Kevin Garnett had 10 with nine rebounds and Kendrick Perkins finished with eight points and 10 boards for the Celtics, who were coming off losses to Orlando and Atlanta—two of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference—that left them at 6-10 since beating the Magic on Christmas Day.
Garnett missed 10 of those games with a hyperextended right knee, and Boston was 4-6 without him. But Garnett’s return hasn’t solved all the Celtics’ problems.
The Celtics fell behind 22-10 in the first quarter, when Bynum scored 12 points, and trailed 40-34 midway through the second before scoring the next 15 points. Rondo had nine points and eight assists in the quarter and was in double digits in both by halftime.