Welcome back to the home of the Lakers, where LA is 10-1 in the post season. It was only the second quarter, but Game 6 was pretty much over. The Lakers were up by 10 points after the first quarter, and 22 points by the second. Los Angeles had responded to the threat of elimination from the NBA finals with the closest thing to a shutout anyone is likely to see in big-time basketball. Buckle up, Boston and L.A. This epic series between old rivals is going to Game 7.
Bryant scored 26 points, Pau Gasol added 17 points and 13 rebounds, and the Lakers emphatically earned a grand finale with a 89-67 victory over the Celtics on Tuesday night. Ron Artest added 15 points for the Lakers, who got their backs off the wall with a dazzling first half. Although the offense was sharp, the Lakers mostly did it with defense, limiting Boston to the second lowest-scoring performance in NBA finals history. Only Utah’s infamous 54-point performance against Chicago in 1998 was worse. “I was very happy,” Bryant said after the defending champions stretched the finals to the limit for the first time since 2005. “We did a great job defensively. We kept them out of the middle, kept them out of the paint, did a good job on the boards. It was a solid effort by us.”
A champion will be crowned Thursday night at Staples Center.