The Boston team that dominated the court in Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals isn't the same Celtics crew that eked out wins against Atlanta, Cleveland, and Detroit. But the Lakers may only have just noticed that, writes Mark Heisler in the Los Angeles Times. For Kobe & Co., tonight's game is time to step up or bow out.
Arriving in Boston confident of stealing at least one road win, the Lakers weren't prepared for the single-minded determination of a team that hasn't lofted a trophy in 21 years. The Celtics' defense has stymied an LA team used to scoring effortlessly, and now that Ray Allen seems to have woken up, the Big Three is a big threat again.