Updated: July 13, 2010, 1:58 PM ET

Finals Showdown

ESPN Illustration The two greatest franchises in league history clashed once again in an epic Game 7 NBA Finals finale.

Lakers Need Repeat Effort From Bench

By Dave McMenamin

LOS ANGELES -- As the shiny purple-and-gold streamers floated down from the Staples Center rafters Tuesday night after the Lakers' 89-67 win to force a Game 7 of the NBA Finals, Lakers reserve guard Shannon Brown felt as if he were reliving a scene from his past.

"After the game, walking to the locker room, it was like I had been there before," Brown said after practice Wednesday. "I promise. It happens to me a lot. I don't know really what it means, but I know it's something.

"I have déjà vu a lot."

Brown made his way through the tunnel after contributing four points, two rebounds and two assists and serving as a catalyst for a Lakers bench that took it to the Celtics' second unit in Game 6. The déjà vu Brown was experiencing couldn't have been related to success in that way, however.

Through the first five games of the series, Boston's bench averaged 23.0 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.4 blocks. L.A.'s reserves were getting lapped in every category, putting up 16.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.6 blocks.

The Lakers' second unit surprised the Celtics' subs Tuesday, winning in points 25-13 (it was 24-0 after three quarters when L.A. ran out to a 25-point lead), assists 5-3 and steals 5-4, and they kept pace in the stats that Boston won (rebounds were 21-16 and blocks were 4-3).

Read the rest from McMenamin at ESPNLosAngeles.com.


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