It was losing battle
Turnovers halted their momentum
Like so many times last night, a loose ball skipped away from a player in a purple jersey. This time it was the fourth quarter and Celtics guard Rajon Rondo stole a pass intended for Lamar Odom and took off toward the hoop.
Rondo’s layup accounted for 2 of the 15 points the Celtics managed off of 16 Lakers turnovers. Kobe Bryant had seven, the most number of turnovers for him in this series.
The Celtics were able to use schemes and execute a defense that prevented Los Angeles from doing much in its offense and that frustrated the Lakers, Bryant said.
“Wasn’t pleased with the way I took care of the ball [last night],’’ Bryant said. “I thought I did a horrible job of that, but it’s a great defense.’’
While the Celtics were diving and scrambling, the Lakers often looked out of sync and struggled to find an offensive rhythm, especially in the second half. The Lakers were held to 17 points in the third quarter and were outscored, 36-27, in the fourth. With Andrew Bynum out most of the second half because of an ailing knee, the Lakers didn’t have much of an answer in the middle for Glen Davis, who scored 18 points off the bench.
The Lakers lost the rebound advantage, 41-34, and were doubled up on second chance points, 20-10.
“I really think that [rebounds] are going to be a factor, that and turnovers,’’ Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “Those [are] keys to games, second-chance points, fast break points. We talked about it at halftime. We couldn’t seem to stem the tide. They knocked balls free more than anything else or they got it back out of bounds or whatever. So I was disappointed our guys can’t secure the rebounds, didn’t capture the rebounds.
“We shot better than they did, but that didn’t make the difference in the game. The difference in the game was chances. They had more chances than we did.’’
“It affects us drastically on the defensive end of the floor as well as offensive end of the floor because [Fisher] does the majority of the ball handling, making sure we get into our offense and things flow,’’ Bryant said.