Do you want the good news or the bad news?
Ray Allen broke Reggie Miller's all-time NBA record for 3-pointers made in the first quarter of tonight's game, his jumper at the 1:48 mark in the first quarter giving him 2,561 for his career. The moment was ceremonial but not forced, with Allen hugging the now TNT broadcaster Miller and getting an embrace from Kobe Bryant while Lakers center Andrew Bynum shot a pair of free throws. When the first quarter was over, Allen was announced to the crowd as the NBA's new 3-point king. He embraced his mother, then his wife and children. The fans at TD Garden stood and applauded throughout, knowing they'd just witnessed something special.
The bad news, of course, is right there in the headline. The Celtics ran out of manpower tonight against the Lakers, fading down the stretch in a 92-86 loss to their historical rivals. Playing with nine players (and later, eight), the Celtics faltered in the second half as the Lakers evened the season-series at one. The teams don't meet again in the regular season.
The Celtics got the Allen fanfare over with in the first quarter, and both teams seemed to be going through the motions in the second. It worked in the Celtics' favor, with Boston building a 53-45 lead at the break.
It took the Celtics 70 seconds to blow their halftime lead, the Lakers coming back from an eight-point deficit thanks to a resurgence by Bryant. The Celtics held Bryant to three points in the first half, but Kobe woke up after the break. He scored 12 points in the third quarter as the Lakers outscored the Celtics 27-15. The Celtics were 6 for 22 in the third.
The first half was all about Allen, but the Celtics also played well enough to build a lead before the break. But while the Celtics had the advantage on the scoreboard, their disadvantage in player availability started to go downhill. Nate Robinson played just 3:39 in the first half before bruising his right knee. He did not return to the game. In addition, Paul Pierce and Von Wafer -- forced into action because of injuries to the players ahead of him on the depth chart -- were saddled with foul trouble.
After struggling in the first half, Bryant finishes as the game's leading scorer with 23 points. Pau Gasol had 20. Allen led the Celtics with 20 points.
It doesn't get easier for the Celtics, who don't appear like they'll get any healthier for at least a little while. They host the resurgent Miami Heat Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.
48.8 seconds 4th quarter, Lakers 92-84: Just nothing left. The Celtics are down to 40-percent shooting now. This one's over.
3:11 4th quarter, Lakers 88-79: Kobe Bryant is on fire. He's got 21 points. It doesn't look like the Celtics have enough firepower to pull this one out.
5:04 4th quarter, Lakers 82-79: The Celtics made a run to get back into the game. Kobe Bryant is coming back in for the Lakers. Rajon Rondo's approaching 40 minutes played. Kendrick Perkins has played 31. Probably not the rehab plan the team had envisioned.
8:50 4th quarter, Celtics 78-70: The Celtics need Shaquille O'Neal, Jermaine O'Neal, Delonte West, Nate Robinson, Marquis Daniels, and Semih Erden back. It's really that simple.
END 3d quarter, Lakers 72-68: Two great defensive sequences by Rajon Rondo, forcing a travel and an offensive foul on Kobe Bryant. This game is going to be one of attrition. Do the Celtics have enough left to make a comeback?
Nate Robinson has officially been ruled out for the rest of the game with that right knee soreness.
46.2 seconds 3d quarter, Lakers 72-67: Gasol just bumped his mouth into Lamar Odom's head. Both players look to be in pain.
1:17 3d quarter, Lakers 69-67: Von Wafer picks up his fifth personal foul trying to block Pau Gasol's dunk. Avery Bradley enters the game. The Celtics are running out of options.
4:12 3d quarter, Lakers 66-62: Kobe Bryant is taking over this game. He's got 13 points now. The Celtics are also getting killed inside, with Bynum and Gasol combining for 32 points.
6:37 3d quarter, Celtics 60-59: Ray Allen just picked up his fourth foul and was replaced by Von Wafer. Still no sign of Nate Robinson on the Celtics bench. This could end badly.
7:55 3d quarter, Celtics 60-55: Things are getting interesting. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers back to a tie, then picked up a technical foul after he was called for traveling. An engaged Bryant could spell trouble for the Celtics.
Halftime, Celtics 53-45 The half comes at a good time for the Celtics to stop the bleeding. They've still got an 8-point lead, but it's clear that a lack of depth in their rotation is getting to them. Nate Robinson went out earlier in the second quarter. He has a bruised right knee and will be evaluated at halftime. His return is questionable.
The Celtics have done a great job on Kone Bryant, limiting him to just three points. Dare I say it, but Kobe seems uninterested. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum each have 12 points. The Celtics could take a lesson from the Lakers there and go inside more to Kevin Garnett.
2:19 2d quarter, Celtics 49-38 Paul Pierce is on the bench with three fouls, but the Celtics might need to bring him back to prevent the Lakers from cutting into this lead too much before halftime.
6:11 2d quarter, Celtics 42-30 Von Wafer gets us into the timeout with an emphatic block on Ron Artest. The Lakers need to get Kobe involved. He's got two points on two shots.
8:55 2d quarter, Celtics 37-25: The fanfare still isn't over here, but there's a game to be played, and the Celtics are winning it. The Lakers are shooting 42 percent, while the Celtics are up at 58 percent.
END 1st quarter, Celtics 27-20: The Celtics lead after one, but it's all about Ray. An emotional scene ensued during the break as Allen was announced as the NBA's new 3-point king on the PA system. Allen waved to the crowd, then ran over to Reggie Miller and gave him a hug. Allen then hugged his mother before running over to his wife and children and hugging them. Just an awesome moment.
1:48 1st quarter, Celtics 22-14: There it is. Allen hits the three on the break. That's the record.
3:21 1st quarter, Celtics 17-14: Ray hits his first three. He's now tied with Reggie. One more.
5:58 1st quarter, Celtics 12-10: Rebounding is already a problem. The Celtics are being outrebounded 7-2. Having flashbacks from Game 7.
8:33 1st quarter, tied at 6: Ray Allen's made a couple of shots, but both have been 2-pointers.
Pregame: Lots of Ray Allen talk, but the "struggling" Lakers are also in the building.
"All I know is that I'd love to be in disarray with that record," said Doc Rivers. "I think it's a joke."