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NBA Finals betting action continues on Tuesday night, as the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics get ready to have at it in Game 3 of this best of seven set.
Los Angeles Lakers (+3) @ Boston Celtics
Tuesday, June 8th, 2010
9:00 ET, TD Banknorth Garden
Los Angeles Notes: It was most certainly a tale of two different games for the Lakers in Tinseltown last week. The NBA Finals odds were stacked in LA's favor in Game 1, as the hosts dominated the glass and watched G Kobe Bryant notch his fifth straight 30+ point game in the postseason in an easy victory to take a 1-0 series lead. That series lead became critical, as HC Phil Jackson has never lost a series in which he has opened with a victory. Game 2 looked totally different, though. Though F Pau Gasol had his second straight dominating game, Boston simply shot the Lakers out of their own building and evened this series at a game apiece. Gasol is averaging 24.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 4.5 blocks, and 3.0 assists per game in the NBA Finals, which is by far the most impressive performance from a player in purple and gold. If there was one encouraging sign in Game 2 for Lakers fans, it was that C Andrew Bynum scored 21 points in what easily amounted to be his best game of the L/2 rounds of the playoffs. Bryant only scored 21 points in Game 2 and must improve upon that for Los Angeles to get back in front in this series.
Boston Notes: G Ray Allen took it upon himself to make sure that the Celtics were getting back to Beantown all square in the NBA Finals. Just three days after only scoring 12 points and not logging a single other statistic, Allen was all over the court, nailing an NBA Finals record eight three pointers and outdueling every single sharpshooter that the Lakers have to offer. The former Connecticut Huskies star finished the night with 32 points to lead all scorers. G Rajon Rondo had his say as well. He had a triple-double through just three quarters of play and ultimately ended up with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and ten assists in the best game of his NBA Finals career in Game 2. Fs Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have really yet to truly get into this series, as the two only combined to shoot 4/16 and score 16 points in Game 2. HC Doc Rivers can't be thrilled about the fact that his team has yet to top 43.3 percent shooting from the field in this series. However, he can rest easily that the C's outrebounded the Lakers 44-39 in Game 2, just three days after getting their clocks cleaned 42-31 in that department.
Trends of Note: Including the Game 1 dud, the Celtics have now covered seven out of eight NBA Finals betting affairs against Los Angeles dating back to the '08 season. The Lakers are just 3-10-1 ATS in their L/14 against Boston overall. The C's are 6-2 ATS in their L/8 against the NBA playoff odds as favorites and are 8-3 ATS in their L/11 games overall. Los Angeles is only 5-14 ATS in its L/19 games playing on one day of rest, but Boston just snapped a five game ATS losing streak against the Western Conference in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
The Final Word: Does anyone else feel like it is now Kobe Time? Bryant and the Lakers know that they played perhaps their worst game possible, particularly on the outside on Sunday night. Playing well in the post once again will eventually yield a 'W' in Boston at some point, and we tend to believe that that victory is coming on Tuesday night. Look for Bryant to have another 30+ point showing as he carries the Lakers to victory.
Prediction: Los Angeles 100 – Boston 94