Kobe ruins Ray-Ray’s special night

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (R) hugs Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen at the end of their NBA basketball game in Boston, Massachusetts February 10, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

With his second of three three-pointers on the night, Ray Allen broke Reggie Miller’s all-time three-point record (2,560) against the Lakers, but Kobe Bryant was too much in the second half, and the Celtics fell, 92-86.

After struggling all season against the league’s top teams, the Lakers needed a “signature win” and they got it in Boston despite a rough start. L.A. trailed by 15 points in the middle of the second quarter, but closed with a 13-6 run to cut the lead to eight at halftime. A 10-0 Laker run to start the third quarter, and Boston’s lead was gone. The teams traded blows until a well-rested Kobe came off the bench with the Lakers nursing a three-point lead and 5:04 remaining in the fourth quarter, and effectively put the game away with 10 points in the final five minutes.

What does this win mean? Laker fans can take their fingers off the panic button, for one. Had the Celtics won by a wide margin, the Lakers would have been more likely to shake the roster up before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. With the win, they’re likely to do nothing at all, or possibly tinker with some of the players at the bottom of the rotation.

I still don’t understand why the Lakers wouldn’t pull a trigger on a Bynum-for-Carmelo swap, but Steve Kerr said last night that by giving up Bynum, they’d be giving up their height advantage. And who am I to argue with Kerr, who broke up that Suns team (to acquire Shaquille O’Neal) that was two bench-clearing suspensions away from upsetting the eventual-champion San Antonio Spurs in 2007? Kerr also wonders how difficult it would be to insert Carmelo into the triangle offense, but with the way Ron Artest is playing (i.e. not well), Anthony would be a huge upgrade. Even if it took him a while to fit in, he couldn’t be any worse than Artest.

Bynum definitely helps the Lakers against the Celtics. I just think Carmelo would help them more against everyone else they might play in the postseason. Plus, he’s not the injury risk that Bynum is.

Oh, and if you’re wondering how Reggie Miller felt about Allen breaking his record. Here’s what he said just before it happened:

“It just shows you, when people ask me, ‘you’ve got to be a little bit upset or bitter?’ Why? First of all, all records are made to be broken. I had a conversation with Ray earlier tonight and he was like, ‘when I was a rookie and I came to Market Square Arena and I saw you for three, three and a half hours before (the game) shooting, that’s how I wanted to patent my game.’ I’m just so happy for him because this is one of the best guys. He’s so humble, he’s so giving, he’s a great family man and I’m excited. This is great. This is great for the game of basketball. You know why? We’re focusing and talking about shooting, Steve. You know how many hours (we went) and we had keys to the gym, we’d go early. No one talks about shooting anymore.”

Those are two pretty classy individuals right there.

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Celtics beat Lakers, 109-96

REFILE – CORRECTING DATE Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett (L) talks to Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant in the first half during their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, California, January 30, 2011. REUTERS/Alex Gallardo (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Box Score

The Celtics shot 60.3% from the field and 52.9% from three-point range en route to a 13-point win over the Lakers at Staples Center. It was a very poor showing by the Laker defense, which is ranked 8th in the league in defensive efficiency and 4th in opponent FG%.

Boston’s “Big Four” showed up, and in a big way. Paul Pierce (32 points), Ray Allen (21), Kevin Garnett (18) and Rajon Rondo (10) combined to shoot 33-for-51 (64.7%) from the field. They’re going to be awfully tough to beat when they are scoring this easily.

Kobe hit 16-of-29 shots for 41 points but had ZERO assists. That pretty much tells the story, doesn’t it?

2010 Year-End Sports Review: What We Think Will Happen

What do we think will happen in 2011? Ha! We’re glad you asked. As part of our 2010 Year End Sports Review, we see good things ahead for Duke, the Celtics and the Saints. We see cursed days ahead for the Phillies and Giants, and one Florida Gator-sized reunion in Denver. We also like Carmelo to play for the…hey, why are we telling you all this? Read for yourself below, lazy. (And have an open mind – we had some fun with this section.)

Contributors: Anthony Stalter, John Paulsen, Paul Costanzo, Drew Ellis and Mike Farley

You think he’s gone? He’s not gone. He’s never gone!

Brett Favre has duped us before with his retirement talk, so why should we buy what he’s selling now? Lord Favre says 2010 will be his final season, but after spending a couple of months on his ranch next summer, he’ll get the itch to return. And some team will welcome him back. And the media will torture us with their 24-hour Favre watch. And the dreaded cycle of death will continue. So which lucky team will have No. 4 in uniform next season? While we wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Favre returning to the Vikings for one more year now that Brad Childress is gone, that’s not a very fun projection. Thus, what about Da Raaaaaaaiders? Huh? Can you see it now? Lord Favre and Al Davis at the podium holding up their pointer fingers and saying, “Just win baby.” No? Ah, you’re no fun.

Carmelo will be a Knickerbocker next year.

Book ‘em, Danno. The writing is on the wall. He hasn’t signed the three-year extension that the Nuggets offered last summer and has reportedly decided that the only team he’ll agree to be traded to is the New York Knicks. This means that if the Nuggets are hoping to get something substantial for him, they’ll have to move him before the February trade deadline. Since there appears to be only one team in the running, the deal isn’t going to be very good. We wouldn’t want to be Nugget fans right now — the rebuilding process is about to begin.
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