Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Game 3: Celtics-Lakers nuggets
By Chris Forsberg
BOSTON -- Here are 10 facts and figures to keep in mind for Tuesday's Celtics vs. Lakers clash (ABC, 9 p.m) in Game 3 of the NBA Finals at the TD Garden (information researched for ESPN by Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.):
1. The Celtics wrestled homecourt advantage away from the Lakers with their victory in Game 2. But history suggests that the Lakers are still in the driver's seat to win the title. Prior to this series, there were 30 NBA Finals in which the visiting team won one of the first two games (counting only series in which the same team hosted Games 1 and 2). Only 10 of those 30 teams went on to win the series (33.3 percent).
2. Rajon Rondo registered 19 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in Boston's Game 2 victory. At the age of 24 years, 104 days old, Rondo became the second youngest player to record a triple double in an NBA Finals game. The only player to do that at a younger age than Rondo was Magic Johnson, who recorded a triple-double in Game 5 of the 1980 NBA Finals against the 76ers at the age of 20 years, 274 days old.
3. Pau Gasol had 25 points and six blocked shots and Andrew Bynum registered 21 points and seven blocked shots for the Lakers in Game 2. That marked only the second time that two teammates registered at least 20 points and five blocked shots in a postseason game. The only other teammates to do that were Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon on May 13, 1986.
4. The Celtics have been outscored by 13 points in the 59 minutes that Kevin Garnett has been on the court in this series. In the 37 minutes that Garnett has been on the bench, Boston has outscored the Lakers by nine points through the first two games.
5. Gasol has registered nine blocked shots through the first two games of this series. Only three other players have recorded at least nine blocks through the first two games of an NBA Finals series since the NBA began tracking that category in 1973: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (11 in 1980), Tim Duncan (10 in 2003) and Dan Majerle (nine in 1993).
6. Kobe Bryant has scored at least 20 points and handed out at least five assists in each of his last seven NBA Finals games dating back to last season. That is one shy of the NBA record in that category. Jerry West had 20+ points and 5+ assists in eight straight Finals games spanning the 1968 and 1969 postseason. Two other players did it in seven straight Finals games: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1971-74) and Michael Jordan (1991-92).
7. Ron Artest shot only 1-for-10 from the field and fouled out in the Lakers' Game 2 loss. Artest was the first player in 41 years to foul out and shoot as low as 10 percent from the field on more than five attempts in an NBA Finals game. The last player to do that prior to Artest was Boston's Bailey Howell against the Lakers on May 3, 1969 (1-for-10).
8. Bryant and Derek Fisher have started in the same backcourt in 115 postseason games. That is the most games any two players have started together at the guard position in NBA playoff history. Bryant and Fisher recently surpassed the record that was previously held by Magic Johnson and Byron Scott, who started 113 postseason games in the same backcourt for the Lakers.
9. Phil Jackson has registered 20 victories on the road in the NBA Finals in his career as a head coach. Only one other head coach in NBA history has recorded as many as half the number of road wins in the Finals as Jackson: Red Auerbach (14).
10. The Celtics have scored fewer than 100 points in each of their last seven home playoff games. That ties the longest such streak in Boston's franchise history. The Celtics scored fewer than 100 points in seven straight home playoff games during the 2008 postseason.