The Lakers built a 20 point lead going to the fourth quarter but Boston quickly cut the deficit down to 13. The crowd suddenly became silent. Not again, referring to the 2008 game 4 finals game… not another melt down… But Kobe made sure to keep those painful experiences buried down memory lane. This is the new Lakers and while Kobe back in 2008 was a trigger happy guard this time he is more focus and more determine. When the double comes he makes sure he finds an open teammate and when the two Allens (Ray and Tony- not related) take turns in guarding him he goes for the post-up and looks for the foul on which they hastily make. There was no answer for Kobe in fact there were no answers for the whole Lakers team as they dominated the Celtics every rebound and used every inch of their height. Kobe doesn’t have to guard the best player of the opposing team anymore; he doesn’t even have to worry about scoring. The Celtics can play as much physical as they want to but the Lakers can also play their game. The Celtics strength is their defense but when their wall of Jericho started to crumble and their emotions and pride goes with it giving up 100 points to the Lakers on the final score.
Kobe is aching for redemption and step 1 has already been made, Game 1 was a statement as they drew first blood. No, it’s far from over the 39 point humiliation back in 2008 is never over.
The score was 89-99 with less than 10 seconds left in the game and the Lakers are already celebrating. Then Kobe launches a long buzzer beater three to end the game with a 102-89 win. He wasn’t finish yet he is sending a stern message to the Celtics with an added insult to injury… Game two will be the same blazing and focus Bryant and they better be ready… Kobe knows how resilient the Celtics are. He knows how they crept out of that 20 plus lead in 2008 and escape with a win… He doesn’t want to take chances because he knows that the battle may have been won but the war is far from over. They will be back and they will be more physical but the Lakers will be ready… they can’t be push anymore because when push comes to shove they can push back harder.