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If my email inbox is to be believed, the story of Game 2 was not Paul Pierce's knee, why Leon Powe only played 15 minutes, or the Lakers' 0-4 record against Boston this season.
The story was the referees, who called seven more fouls on the Lakers than the Celtics, and sent the home team to the line 28 more times than the road team.
This is how Phil Jackson's post-game press conference began:
What are you most struck by, your rally at the end or your difficulty scoring points on them the first three quarters?
(Laughing) I'm more struck at the fact that Leon Powe gets more foul shots than our whole team does in 14 minutes of play. That's ridiculous. You can't play from a deficit like that that we had in that half, 19 to 2 in the first half in situations like that. I've never seen a game like that in all these years I've coached in The Finals. Unbelievable. ...
I think my players got fouled. I have no question about the fact that my players got fouled but didn't get to the line. Specifically I can enumerate a few things, but I'm not going to get into that.
I don't want to get into dispute with those situations.
It's the illusion that's created. The referees referee an illusion. Our guys look like maybe the ball was partially stripped when they were getting raked or whatever was happening, but it was in the crowd, so the referees let that type of thing go.
So we have to create the spacing that gives the right impression, and that will have to get accomplished.