Rajon Rondo’s Triple-Double Leads Celtics in Game 2 Win


Rajon Rondo's Triple-Double Leads Celtics in Game 2 Win
Final: Celtics 103, Lakers 94. The Celtics have held on for the win, and they're headed home to Boston with a 1-1 split.

Ray Allen finishes the night 8-of-11 from 3-point range, breaking the all-time record for treys in an NBA Finals game. Rajon Rondo finishes with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, his second triple-double of this postseason. There were heroics everywhere you looked, and for the Celtics, it was just enough for the win.

Game 3 will be Tuesday night, back at the TD Garden. The Celtics will be looking to take control of this series.

Fourth quarter, 33.0 seconds, Celtics 100-93: Rondo hits one of
two, and you're officially looking at a three-possession game. More
than likely, you're also looking at a 1-1 split in these NBA Finals.

Phil Jackson calls a timeout. He's always been good with the X's and O's, but right now, he needs to draw up a miracle.

Fourth quarter, 33.0 seconds, Celtics 99-93: The Lakers are forced to foul Rondo again. They're desperate.

Fourth quarter, 47.1 seconds, Celtics 99-93: Kobe Bryant hits a
3 to cut into the Boston lead, but Ron Artest fouls out by hacking
Rajon Rondo, and Rondo hits one of two shots from the line. The lead is
back to six.

Fourth quarter, 1:12, Celtics 97-90: Kendrick Perkins comes up big in more ways than one.

First he gets a bucket to widen the Boston lead to seven; then he gets a huge rebound off a Kobe miss. Then, upon taking a hard foul from Pau Gasol, he resists the temptation to retaliate and get his seventh technical foul.

The Finals are where boys become men. That's what Perk is doing before our eyes.

Fourth quarter, 1:26, Celtics 95-90: Rajon Rondo finds his jump shot. Talk about confidence.

Rondo hits an elbow jumper, the Celtics get a stop and a much-needed defensive rebound, and Doc Rivers, sprinting onto the court to grab the attention of referee Marty McCutcheon, calls a timeout.

The Celtics are now in position to finish this thing off. They've got 90 seconds to formulate a plan.

Fourth quarter, 2:07, Celtics 93-90: Huge sequence for the
Celtics — first a bucket for Kevin Garnett at long last, and then a
steal by Paul Pierce tipped to Rondo. The Celtics have a three-point
lead and the ball.

Fourth quarter, 2:59, Celtics 91-90: Rajon Rondo gets a
second-chance bucket to put the Celtics back in front, and the defense
gets a stop. The Celtics have the lead, the ball, and a full timeout
called by Doc Rivers.

They're only up by a point, with plenty of time left, but they're in a great position to finish this thing. They've got three minutes left to go right at Bryant and Artest, driving into them and daring them to foul.

Fourth quarter, 3:33, Lakers 90-89: Paul Pierce draws two fouls
from Ron Artest in the span of eight seconds. Now Artest and Kobe
Bryant each have five — how are the Lakers going to contain Pierce and
Allen without fouls to give?

This is the balancing act for the Laker wings — they can't be aggressive, because they'll foul out, but they can't be passive, either. The Celtics scorers will light them up.

The Celtics are down one, but they have the Lakers right where they want them.

Fourth quarter, 5:35, Lakers 88-87: Rajon Rondo cuts backdoor for a layup. He's got the Celtics back to within one, and he's got his triple-double.

Eleven points, eleven rebounds, 10 assists and zero credit. Who's going to get all the credit after this game? Not Rondo. Either Ray Allen, for obvious reasons, or the Lakers' big man tandem of Bynum and Gasol for carrying them back into this game.

Which one? Depends who wins.

Fourth quarter, 6:30, Lakers 85-83: What a night for Andrew
Bynum. In his second career Finals game, the Lakers' young center now
has 21 points, six rebounds and seven blocks. Yes, seven blocks!

A Bynum bucket here gives the Lakers the lead again in the fourth quarter.

Who's going to step up and carry the Celtics down the stretch?

Fourth quarter, 8:12, Celtics 83-80: Speaking of a spark off the bench … Hello there, Nate Robinson.

A 3 from the top of the key, followed by a transition bucket off a steal from Tony Allen, makes five points in 24 seconds for Nate. The Celtics are back in front.

Remember when Nate didn't play?

Of course you do. That was last week.

Fourth quarter, 9:20, 78-78: Eight points and seven rebounds in
limited minutes for Glen Davis. How many times has this kid given the
Celtics a spark off the bench in the fourth quarter? Too many to count.

Fourth quarter, 10:34, Celtics 74-72: Wow. Kobe Bryant picks up
his fifth foul of the game early in the fourth quarter, and he's
staying in the game. Talk about thin ice.

Immediately upon being whistled for the foul, Kobe looked over at Phil Jackson and pled with him, begging to be left in the game. Jackson acquiesced, and he's now got to spend the rest of the game wondering if the "game's greatest closer" will be around to close.

The Lakers are still in this game, but they could be in trouble if one more call goes against Kobe.

End of third quarter, 72-72: If you told the Celtics that
through three quarters, Kevin Garnett would have two points and two
rebounds in just under 12 minutes, they probably wouldn't be happy. But
if you told them it'd be a tie game anyway?

Not bad.

It's taken a record-breaking eight 3s from Ray Allen, a near triple-double from Rajon Rondo, and a strong shooting performance off the bench from Rasheed Wallace to keep things close. But close they are, and Game 2 of the NBA Finals will go down to the wire tonight.

Third quarter, 1:26, Celtics 72-70: Rajon Rondo now has nine points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. There's a good chance of him finishing that triple-double.

Basic Celtic rule of thumb — when Rondo gets a triple-double, this team doesn't lose. It just doesn't.

Third quarter, 3:28, 68-68: Derek Fisher knocks down a mid-range
jumper to tie things up, and Ray misses a 3 with a chance to break the
tie again. Now he's a mere mortal at 8-for-10.

Kobe Bryant is still on the bench due to foul trouble (four personals). This is the Celtics' chance to push their edge with Ray, knocking down shot after shot over Shannon Brown.

Don't stop at eight, Ray. Get greedy.

Third quarter, 4:40, Celtics 68-66: He's done it. Ray Allen has
broken the all-time Finals record for 3-pointers in a game, draining
his eighth here in the third quarter.

So long, Kenny Smith. So long, Scottie Pippen. So long, umm … Ray Allen. The 2010 Ray stands alone in the NBA Finals record book.

He's got 30 points in the game, and the Celtics have reclaimed the lead.

Third quarter, 6:06, 63-63: Off the schneid comes Paul Pierce.
With a nice entry pass from Rasheed Wallace and a nice reverse layup,
Pierce gets his first bucket. We're all tied at 63.

If they want to pull ahead in this game, it would be nice if Pierce got hot and stayed hot for a while. Ray Allen has been a non-factor in the second half, with Kobe and Shannon Brown working hard to shut him down, so the C's need someone else to step up.

Isn't that Pierce's role?

It's time to see if he can find his groove. We've waited long enough.

Third quarter, 6:52, 61-61: It's hard to be aggressive when
you're constantly in foul trouble. For the Celtics, it has to be
troubling that both Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins now have four
personals.

The Celtics aren't being utterly destroyed in the war down low the way they were in Game 1, but they've still got a lot of work to do. It looks like for the moment, it'll be up to Rasheed Wallace to come off the bench and give the Celtics' post presence a little jolt.

Third quarter, 8:07, Lakers 59-58: Paul Pierce in this game: 24
minutes, 0-for-5 from the field, six points, two assists, one rebound.
He's not quite dead, but possibly comatose.

You don't want to see Pierce press things and force bad shots just to get his mojo back, but at this point, the Celtics have to be desperate to get him going somehow. This is pretty ugly.

Third quarter, 9:28, Celtics 58-57: It's a miracle! The Celtics have scored their first second-chance points of the NBA Finals.

By grabbing the rebound off a missed short jumper from Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins tips it back up and in, tentatively but effectively. The Celtics reclaim the lead and they send a message: They know how to score in the point in the paint every now and then. Really, seriously. They do.

Third quarter, 10:02, Lakers 57-56: Thanks to a 19-foot baseline jumper from Pau Gasol, the Lakers have reclaimed the lead. It's been a while.

For Ray Allen, it would be a crying shame if his seven-3-pointer, 27-point first half went to waste. But with the rest of his team looking completely dead offensively, he's running that risk.

Third quarter, 11:10, Celtics 54-53: Dating back to the end of the second quarter, the Lakers are now on a 12-0 run. Nothing's going right for the Celtics.

The Lakers are moving the ball beautifully on offense to get open shots, and on defense, they're shutting down everyone not named Ray Allen. Pierce and Garnett are a combined 1-for-4 from the field tonight, that's all.

So long, Big Three. Ray Allen will have to be big all by himself.

Halftime, Celtics 54-48: In heartbreaking fashion, Ray Allen
finally misses a 3-point attempt in the final minute of the first half.
Seven out of eight ain't bad, right?

Ray finishes the first half with 27 points, singlehandedly keeping the Celtics out in front even when Kobe and the Lakers surge before halftime with seven straight points. They lead Game 2 by six at halftime.

With seven 3s in the first half, Ray has not only broken MJ's record for first-half treys, but he's tied the record for 3s in an entire Finals game. The first three players to hit seven in a game were Kenny Smith in Game 1 of the 1995 Finals, Scottie Pippen in Game 3 in 1997, and … Ray Allen. Ray previously had seven in a game when the Celtics beat the Lakers in Game 6 of the 2008 Finals.

Second quarter, 2:35, Celtics 52-39: Seven for seven. Ray isn't done yet.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a record. You are witnessing the best one-half shooting performance in NBA Finals history.

When he's really feeling it, there is nothing in basketball more beautiful than a Ray Allen jump shot.

Second quarter, 3:20, Celtics 49-39: Ray Allen isn't just getting it done on offense — he's stopping Kobe Bryant on defense, too.

By taking a charge from Kobe here, Ray gets the Celtics the ball back with a double-digit lead, and more importantly, he gives the Lakers' captain his third foul. Looks like Kobe will spend the last three minutes of this first half on the bench.

Second quarter, 4:13, Celtics 47-35: Kobe Bryant doesn't just
want to get mad over Ray Allen's display — he wants to get even. The
only problem? He's just not as good a shooter.

Ray Allen is 8-for-12 in this game and 6-for-6 from 3-point range; meanwhile, Kobe is 2-for-8, 0-for-2. And the more Ray heats up, the more Kobe gets desperate and forces up shots.

They're not falling. Kobe might be starting to realize that he can't do it alone.

Second quarter, 5:41, Celtics 45-32: Move aside, MJ. This is Ray's night to make history.

Six for six from 3-point range. There's just nothing these Lakers can do. They're witnessing the best shooter in the game put on a clinic, and they're helpless to stop him.

The Celtics lead by a whopping 13.

Second quarter, 5:55, Celtics 42-30: It's been exactly 18 years
and three days since Michael Jordan and the Bulls lit up the Blazers in
Game 1 of the 1992 Finals, with MJ hitting six 3-pointers in the first
half. Tonight, Ray Allen is looking to match him.

Five attempts from long range, five makes. Ray is one 3 away from Finals immortality, matching Air Jordan's record.

Meanwhile, the Celtics continue to hold a double-digit lead over the Lakers in the first half of Game 2.

Second quarter, 7:35, Celtics 39-28: Who needs transition layups? If Rondo doesn't want to score, he can just dump it to Ray Allen. Ray still can't miss.

He's using this Game 2 to remind us all why he's still the best pure shooter in the game. He's now made all four of his 3-point attempts, and he's got 16 points. Just an incredible display from the Celtics' veteran shooting guard.

Second quarter, 9:06, Celtics 36-26: After a frustrating Game 1, spending most of the night in foul trouble, Ray Allen has come back with a vengeance in Game 2.

Ray's got 13 points in 13 minutes. He's shot 5-of-8 from the floor, including a perfect 3-of-3 from downtown. And with only one foul, he's been perfectly free to establish a rhythm tonight. He's making the most of it.

Second quarter, 10:08, Celtics 31-24: You can tell it's tough
for the Celtics to transition defensively from covering the old, slow
jump-shooter Derek Fisher to the young, active Shannon Brown and Jordan
Farmar.

The Lakers' bench is full of energy, and that's just what Phil Jackson needs to give his team a shot in the arm here in the second quarter. The question is, though — which of these guys can stop Rondo?

Probably neither.

Second quarter, 11:08, Celtics 31-22: What do Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol have in common?

None of them have sat yet for a millisecond. And Rondo, 24-year-old bundle of energy that he is, is still the most active player on the floor. He's using his athleticism and his speed to run wild on the Lakers, controlling the tempo of the game and running the show.

The Lakers have missed 10 straight shots. The Celtics are capitalizing.

End of first quarter, Celtics 29-22: Big development for
the Celtics in Game 2: 3-point shooting. The C's were 1-for-10 from
long distance in Game 1. They're 3-for-4 tonight.

Ray Allen has hit a pair of treys already for the Celtics, and he's got a game-high 10 points. Rasheed Wallace has knocked one down as well. The Celtics have themselves a nice little seven-point lead at the break.

First quarter, 2:11, Lakers 21-20: Team rebounding numbers after nearly 10 minutes of play: Celtics 9, Lakers 9. The men in green are holding their own.

You can't overstate the importance of denying the Lakers second-chance points. With the strength down low of Bynum, Gasol and Lamar Odom off the bench, they're going to take advantage of every scoring opportunity they can get down low.

First quarter, 3:06, Lakers 21-20: Big question for Rajon Rondo in Game 2: Can he find a way to be aggressive without constantly needing fast-break opportunities?

A couple of times here in the first quarter, we've seen Rondo wreak havoc in the halfcourt — once scoring on a floater over Derek Fisher, and once drawing a foul from Kobe.

He's got to keep that up. Transition buckets are hard to come by against this Laker team, so you've got to have other ways to put the ball in the hole.

First quarter, 4:51, 17-17: Ray just can't miss. He's singlehandedly erased the Laker lead.

By making his last four attempts, he's piled up a game-high nine points early. He's a big reason the Celtics are now 8-of-13 from the field.

First quarter, 6:50, Lakers 11-10: Ray Allen is a rhythm player. It's important to keep him on the floor and out of foul trouble.

So far, they've done that. And Ray's hitting just enough shots to keep the Celtics competitive. Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol may be dominating down low against Big Baby and Kendrick Perkins, but the Celtics have the weapons to win this game from outside.

First quarter, 8:48, Celtics 8-7: The good news for the Celtics
is a 6-0 surge to reclaim the lead, capped off by a transition layup by
Rajon Rondo. The bad is early foul trouble for KG.

KG picks up two fouls in the first three minutes, forcing Doc Rivers to go to his bench early and insert Glen Davis in his place. The undersized Davis will need to work his tail off to beat the lanky Lakers to rebounds. This will be a big challenge for Big Baby.

First quarter, 9:46, Lakers 7-2: In a development that should surprise no one, Kevin Garnett has come out aggressive. But the Lakers have been even better.

KG gets the first bucket of the game, outmuscling Pau Gasol on the block, double-pumping and knocking down a short jumper in his face. But the Lakers storm back with a 7-0 run. Once again, we're left wondering if the Celtics have the toughness inside to crash the boards and keep from giving up layups.

7:30 p.m.: This just in: Marquis Daniels is officially back.

After going through a light, non-contact practice session on Friday afternoon, Daniels went full-contact yesterday and has been cleared to play in the Finals against the Lakers.

Daniels told the media tonight that he was ready to "go out there and help out as much as possible." Against Kobe Bryant, the Celtics just might need him.

5:30 p.m.: Here's a big question for the Celtics going into Game 2: Will they have the services of Marquis Daniels?

Daniels has been a non-factor for much of this postseason for the Celtics, but they could really use him now in order to have an extra defender to use against Kobe Bryant. Especially if Ray Allen finds himself in early foul trouble again.

Daniels suffered a concussion in Game 5 down in Orlando, and Doc Rivers originally thought he was done for the playoffs. But numerous reports out of L.A. yesterday indicated Doc saw a "good chance" of Daniels playing in Game 2 on Sunday.

For all the misfortune the Celtics have had with injuries this year, they should consider themselves lucky that when it really matters, they've been good at making speedy recoveries. Now let's see if it pays off.

4 p.m.: Officials for tonight's Game 2 matchup: Monty McCutchen, Mike Callahan, Ken Mauer.

Good news for people who believe in/care about this kind of thing: McCutchen and Callahan both presided over the Celtics' 96-84 demolition of the Magic in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Although when you think about it, this news could actually be taken one of two ways. Either it means we've got a Celtic-friendly officiating crew, or we've got a crew that loves the home team, regardless of uniform. Could go either way for the Celtics — perhaps we won't know for sure until Ray Allen either does or doesn't pick up two quick fouls in his first five minutes.

1:30 p.m.: Not that anyone needed any extra motivation for this one, but take a look at the report out of Lakers camp in today's Herald.

Pau Gasol, who said earlier this week that Kevin Garnett had "lost some explosiveness" since two years ago and become "more of a jump shooter now," was surprised to hear that his honest assessment of KG's game had been turned into trash talk.

Both sides are fired up now. KG's offended and ready to prove everyone wrong, while Pau is annoyed at the media now, ready to transition into "shut up and play" mode.

You can expect both to bring their best games for Game 2. Since this is the Finals, we shouldn't expect anything less.

12 p.m.: The Celtics got a rude awakening on Thursday night. They learned that the NBA Finals wouldn't be easy.

But when it's the Lakers, and it's the game's greatest rivalry playing out on the game's biggest stage, nothing is supposed to be easy. To win this thing, the Celtics are going to have to get down in the trenches and fight. There's no other option.

No more being outrebounded. No more being outscored in the paint, flooded with second-chance points. If the Celtics want to get back in this series, they need their big men to play big.

No one ever wants to head home down 0-2. The Celtics are veterans, and they know the importance of this game.