A funny thing happened to the Celtics-Lakers final. First the Lakers lost to the Suns in Phoenix, but Boston bailed them out by blowing the sweep and losing their game 4 at home. Then the Lakers bailed them out by losing again, and tonight Boston lost game 5 on the road.
Now the momentum is clearly with the Suns and the Magic. The Suns beat the Lakers in pretty much the same way in game 4 as game 3--getting a lead, and winning the fourth quarter after they'd lost it, thanks especially to their bench, which finally showed up big as they did in earlier series. Now this series is tied 2-2, the Suns know they can beat the Lakers, and the Lakers are not entirely healthy.
But even though Boston has to win only one game out of the next two, they may be in even more trouble. They lost game 4 in overtime and looked tired, and they've looked tired ever since. Their key player, point guard Rondo, seems to be playing hurt, and Glen Davis and sub Marquis Daniels both suffered concussions to the point of blacking out. Age and injuries have always been the question marks for the Celtics this year.
Both Boston and LA pretty much have to win their next game. In the West series, the fifth game is usually decisive, and the Lakers are at home. In the East, the Celtics will have to hope that home court encourages the officials to give them a break, and maybe even reign in Dwight Howard's guided missile elbows, which knocked out Davis and have otherwise been conspicuous weapons.
Otherwise, the NBA may get what it really doesn't want: a Phoenix-Orlando final.
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