BOSTON — There were no wild celebrations after the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics, 110-109 in overtime tonight. At least, none for public consumption anyway. The Lakers were as calm, cool and collected in their postgame locker room as they were in overtime against the team that denied them the NBA championship last June.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 26 points on 10-for-29 shooting and added 10 rebounds and five assists. Pau Gasol had 24 points and 14 rebounds. Lamar Odom had 20 points and six rebounds. Odom’s free throws with 16 seconds left in OT proved to be the winning points after Ray Allen’s desperation heave fell short at the buzzer.
The Celtics wanted a hand-checking foul whistled against Derek Fisher, who pressured Allen, but none was called and the Lakers held on to win with a key defensive stop in the final three seconds of overtime.
Here’s a sampling of the postgame comments ….
Lakers coach Phil Jackson: “Neither of our teams played up to the capabilities that we are able to play, but we outlasted them. That’s about it.. … It’s nice to be able to have a game like this where they are on a winning streak and they are playing really well. The matchup created good PR for the league, and we had a great overtime game.”
Kobe Bryant: “It was more of a statement game for ourselves, knowing that we didn’t necessarily play well for three quarters and still managed to find a way to win this game.”
Luke Walton: “We all remember what it felt like leaving here (after the Lakers’ loss in the deciding Game 6 of the NBA Finals last June) and this win here doesn’t make up for it at all, but it’s still nice and it feels good to get that win.”
Boston coach Doc Rivers: “I didn’t think we played well at all for the most part, but we hung in there. And I was just proud of our guys because I didn’t think we played well. I didn’t think we executed well at all. And yet we still had chances. We still had leads.”
Celtics guard Ray Allen: “I thought I was pushed. I almost twisted … I think I did twist my ankle. I thought I was fouled. … We had some calls that went our way, some calls didn’t.”