words_Nick Engvall

The arena was packed, the fans were loud, intense, and ready for the Celtics to take another step towards defeating the Lakers for the second time in 3 years. The only problem is someone forgot to give the Celtics the intensity memo.

Boston came out strong, but after a rare early timeout call from Phil Jackson, the Lakers looked like the championship team of last year again.

The Lakers did it with defense. Despite a sub-par shooting night for Bryant (10-29, 1-7 from three point range), his defensive intensity led the Lakers. Bryant finished with 3 blocks and 2 steals to go with his 29 points and 7 rebounds, on the way to shutting down game two hero Ray Allen. Allen finished with only 2 points, both coming from free throws. Allen went 0-f0r-13 from the field, which included an 0-for8 mark from behind the three point line.

Game three did have some positive for the Celtics as Kevin Garnett seemed to be the only player trimmed in green that brought some intensity, something he has been criticized for lacking in the first two games of the series. However, the Lakers were more dominant in the paint, with Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum all coming up with blocks in the game, and if there was a stat for altered shots, both Gasol and Bynum would have tallied in the double digits there as well.

The teams will return to TD Garden in Boston for game four at 9PM EST on Thursday night.

Lamar Odom in the Nike Hyperdunk out-jumps Glen Davis in the Nike Hyperfly.

Kobe Bryant in the Nike Zoom Kobe V BS Away.

Rajon Rondo performing a balancing act in the Nike Hyperfuse.

Ron Artest agrees with a refs call in Peak shoes.

Shannon Brown in the Nike Zoom Kobe V, defended by Ray Allen in the Jordan One6One7.

Rasheed Wallace pushing the limits of dispute with the refs, wearing the Nike Air Force 1.

Another look at Rajon Rondo wearing the Nike Hyperfuse.

Kobe Bryant in the Nike Zoom Kobe V BS Away, guarded by Kevin Garnett in the adidas TS Supernatural Commander.

Nate Robinson in the Nike Air Max2 CB34.

Tony Allen in the adidas TS Supernatural Creator PE.

Another look at Kobe warming up before the game in the Nike Zoom Kobe V BS Away.

Nike Zoom Kobe V Big Stage Away

images via yahoo