The Los Angeles Lakers will try to avoid dropping a second NBA finals in three years to the Boston Celtics by winning Game 6 in LA Tuesday night. The Lakers are the first team to lose back to back games in the series, and look to force a Game 7 Thursday at Staples Center.
The Lakers are 9-1 at home in the post-season, and that’s where they will play the final two games of the 2010 NBA season. Laker coach Phil Jackson sees the series as going the way it was meant to, with the Celtics holding home court as well as the Lakers.
“If you look at it, they’ve come home and carried the 3-2 lead back,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “It’s basically home court, home court. Now we’re going back to home court to win it. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, isn’t it?”
Though Jackson seemed confident, the Lakers have not put forth their best performances in the last two games. The Celtics have won three of the last four, and are the only team to beat the Lakers at home in the playoffs. The Lakers also haven’t faced a series deficit this post-season.
So how come Jackson and players like Kobe Bryant seem so relaxed after a disappointing Game 5 loss? During the regular season they have always been able to rise to the occasion, despite facing injury problems and marquee-game losses.
The Lakers locker room was described as being spirited after their 92-86 loss in Boston. Bryant knows that the Lakers do not deserve to be called Champions if they cannot beat the Celtics twice on their home court.
“We have a challenge, obviously, down 3-2,” said Bryant. “We let a couple opportunities slip away, but it is what it is. Now you go home, you’ve got two games at home that you need to win, and you pull your boots up and get to work.”
Boston Celtic forward Kevin Garnett has made a resurgence from his poor performances early in the series. A trip home helped his game, and he knows the Lakers will have a renewed motivation going into the final games in LA.
“They’re playing at home. Home is always where your heart is,” Boston’s Kevin Garnett said. “With the severity of the game, it’s all-out on both ends for both teams. This will probably be the hardest game of the season, if not of the series, if not of everybody’s career, this game coming up.”