Bryant, Fisher lead Lakers to victory in Game 3 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Bryant, Fisher lead Lakers to victory in Game 3

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Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, drives past Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo during the second quarter in Game 3 of the NBA basketball finals Tuesday, June 8, 2010, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, drives past Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo during the second quarter in Game 3 of the NBA basketball finals Tuesday, June 8, 2010, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

BOSTON (AP) — Kobe Bryant scored 29 points and Derek Fisher added 16 to lead Los Angeles to a 91-84 victory over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday and give the Lakers a 2-1 lead in the NBA finals.

Bryant had 25 points after three quarters, but did not score for the first 10 minutes of the fourth. That's when Fisher took over, adding four key baskets after Boston narrowed a 17-point first-half lead to one point.

The Lakers regained home-court advantage they had lost when Boston took Game 2 in Los Angeles.

Game 4 is Thursday night in Boston.

Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum had 10 rebounds each for Los Angeles.

Kevin Garnett, who had just six points in Boston's victory Sunday, made 25 in Game 3. But Ray Allen, who had 32 points in Game 2, missed all 13 field goal attempts.

"Derek Fisher was the difference in the game," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "He's just a gutty, gritty player and he gutted the game out for them. I thought Kobe was struggling a little bit, and Fisher — he basically took the game over. ... I don't know what he had in the fourth quarter ... but most of them were down the stretch."

The Celtics had high hopes after splitting the opening two games in Los Angeles, but the "Beat L.A.!" chants at the TD Garden couldn't help them overcome poor shooting.

The Lakers led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but Boston cut the deficit to four late in the third quarter and then made it 68-67 early in the fourth on consecutive drives by Glen "Big Baby" Davis and Rajon Rondo. With a chance to take the lead, Allen was called for an offensive foul away from the ball.

Fisher drove for a layup at the other end that made it a three-point game then scored four of the Lakers' next five baskets to give them a five-point lead with about 4½ minutes left.

"We just had to be poised and understand they're going to make a run, and we did that," Bryant said. "They made a push but they never fully got control of the game. We made big shots when we needed it."

Bryant said his teammate was "just Derek being Derek. He makes big plays all the time. He never ceases to amaze me."

Lamar Odom had only five points in 21 minutes of the opener while battling foul trouble, and Game 2 was even more frustrating. He picked up three quick fouls there and was on the court for only 14½ minutes.

But he got off to a strong start, and was back on the court for the big finish.

"Well, he got going," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "He had a kiss shot that went in off the backboard. That was kind of a gift from God to him for all that stuff he's been through in the series."

Last time Bryant was in Boston during the finals, he was helpless as none of his teammates stepped up in the Celtics' blowout victory in the clinching Game 6 of the 2008 series.

This time, the Lakers were at their best when he wasn't scoring.

Bryant had only two free throws in a 10-1 run that closed the first quarter, and contributed only one field goal in an 11-3 spurt to start that second that extended the Lakers' lead to 37-20.

They got a key contribution during the stretch from sporadically used Luke Walton, who entered in the first quarter when Ron Artest was in foul trouble.

"Everybody on this team is prepared to play," Odom said. "Everybody works hard, practices hard together, everybody's prepared."

For Boston, Allen missed all eight 3-pointers, all five 2-pointers and got to the line just twice. He was spared of matching the worst shooting performance in NBA finals history when Garnett was called for an offensive foul away from the ball in the final minute while Allen clanged another shot off the rim.

Baltimore's Chip Reiser missed all 14 shots in a 1948 finals game against Philadelphia, and Dennis Johnson was 0 for 14 for Seattle against Washington in 1978.

Garnett, who scored only six points in 24 foul-plagued minutes in Game 2, had that many in the first 75 seconds of Game 3. Rondo had Boston's next three baskets, and the Celtics were quickly up 12-5.

But the Lakers ran off eight straight points to go ahead, scoring 32 of the next 40 points to open a 37-20 lead with 9:10 left in the half.

Rondo, who had a triple-double in Game 3, finished with 11 points, eight assists and three rebounds.

 

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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