• 57°

NBA Finals: Not enough Kobe, not enough help for Lakers

Associated Press
BOSTON ó The best player was no match for the best team.
Even Kobe Bryant couldn’t solve Boston’s suffocating defense in the NBA finals, which ended Tuesday night when the Celtics crushed the Los Angeles Lakers 131-92 in Game 6.
Bryant knew all along the Celtics were going to force someone besides him to beat them, and there was nobody else in purple and gold up for the job.
Bryant finished with 22 points, but shot only 7-of-22 from the field and was quiet after a sizzling start for the second straight game.
The Lakers needed an MVP performance from Bryant. Bryant needed help.
Neither got what they wanted ó and they’re not getting another championship ring this season, either.
Bryant averaged 31.9 points through the first three rounds, tops among all players in the postseason. But the Celtics limited him to 25.7 per game and 40 percent shooting, rotating a number of defenders on him and making sure there was always help behind if Bryant did try to get to the basket.
And there was no one else to pick up the slack. Lamar Odom didn’t have a field goal until the fourth quarter, when the Lakers were already down by 29 points. Pau Gasol took only seven shots and finished with 11 points ó and he was their second-leading scorer until deep in the fourth quarter, when Odom went to work against the reserves who played the last few minutes while Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were busy celebrating on the sideline.
With the Lakers’ season on the line and no other choice, Phil Jackson left Bryant on the floor for the entire second quarter, instead of his usual break early in the period. Maybe the rest would have been a better idea.
Bryant missed all four shots and committed two turnovers in the period, when the game was decided after Boston outscored Los Angeles 34-15. And when he desperately needed his teammates to pick him up, the rest of the Lakers combined for only three field goals in the period, and the Celtics had a commanding 58-35 bulge by the time it was over.

Comments

Comments closed.

Coronavirus

First dose COVID-19 vaccinations up to 24% in Rowan County

Crime

Blotter: April 22

Crime

Lawsuit: Salisbury Police, Rowan Sheriff’s Office tore woman’s shoulder during traffic stop

Business

‘Believe me, they’ll be fresh’: Patterson Farm welcomes strawberry crop

Local

City appoints more members to boards, commissions, with 9 seats left to be filled

News

Virtual play groups the new norm at Smart Start

Local

City meets in closed session to consult with attorney on two ongoing litigation cases

Education

Summit takes art out of the classroom, into the student’s home

Education

Education briefs: Gene Haas Foundation donates $12,500 to RCCC

Business

County’s restaurant grant program dishes out funding to eight local eateries

High School

High school football: Yow out as South head coach

Education

Shoutouts

Local

City moves forward on greenway extension, traffic signal upgrades

Business

State broadband survey could help fund local infrastructure

Education

Happy Roots adds to programming with Bic recycling program

Education

RCCC small business center partners 53 Ideas Pitch Competition

Nation/World

Sheriff: Deputy fatally shot Black man while serving warrant

Nation/World

Garland announces sweeping police probe after Floyd verdict

Crime

District attorney won’t bring charges against former Salisbury officer depicted in K-9 video

Coronavirus

Cooper plans to lift gathering, distancing limits by June 1

Crime

Convicted sex offender charged with having child pornography

Crime

Rowan County woman faces drug crimes for gas station incident

Crime

Blotter: Thousands of dollars in lumber taken from Newsome Road house

Local

Locals react to Chauvin verdict, reflect on work still to do