By Gethin Coolbaugh
LOS ANGELES – A lot had been said about Ray Allen’s lackluster performance in the Celtic’s loss in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Apparently, Allen was listening, and he responded in a big way.
Allen set an NBA Finals record with 8 three-pointers and had a game-high 32 points as Boston toppled Los Angeles 103-94 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals at Staples Center on Sunday night.
In addition to his spectacular perimeter shooting (8-of-11), which will go down as one of the best in Finals history, Allen made 11-of-20 field goals and had three rebounds and two assists in 43 and a half minutes.
“Tonight, I just was focused on adjustments,” said Allen. “I try not to turn a shot down when I’m open for sure. Early in the game, we were able to get in transition and I got a couple threes early. Nothing was rushed, and I was the recipient of good passes.”
Allen tied the Finals record before halftime, making his first seven three-point attempts and finishing the half having made 7-of-8.
Boston took a 29-22 led after the first quarter behind Allen’s strong offensive performance. The Celtics built their lead to 14 midway through the second quarter, but the Lakers came back to cut Boston’s lead to 54-48 at halftime.
Los Angeles used a 5-0 run in the start of the third quarter to cut the deficit to one, and the two teams would trade leads all throughout the third quarter, which ended in a 72-72 tie.
Boston shut the door on the Lakers’ hopes of a 2-0 series lead in the fourth, outscoring Los Angeles 31-22 to preserve the series-tying victory.
Four Celtics scored in double digits and all 15 players on the roster played in the game. Rajon Rondo notched his second triple-double of the playoffs, scoring 19 points with 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
“Rondo pushed the ball in transition and we got a lot more transition opportunities than we did in Game 1,” Allen said.
Kendrick Perkins, who was a non-factor in Game 1, totaled 12 points and six rebounds. Paul Pierce added 10 points on 2-of-11 shooting, four rebounds and four assists in 40 minutes.
Kevin Garnett made only 2-of-5 shots to score six points and also had six assists and four rebounds.
Glen Davis led the Celtics’ bench in scoring with eight points on 4-of-13 shooting. In addition, Davis had seven rebounds (five offensive), one assist and one steal in 18 minutes.
Both Rasheed Wallace and Nate Robinson had seven points, and Wallace added seven rebounds.
Tony Allen scored two points in 12 minutes and Sheldon Williams did not score in 4 minutes.
Fouls plagued the Celtics for the second straight game as they amassed 29 fouls, as did the Lakers.
Los Angeles had three starters score in double digits, led by Pau Gasol’s team-high 25 points and eight rebounds.
Kobe Bryant scored 21 points with six assists and five rebounds and Andrew Bynum added 21 points and six rebounds.
Derek Fisher totaled six points and seven rebounds and Ron Artest added six points and five rebounds. Jordan Farmar scored seven points to lead the bench scoring, followed by three-point outings from Lamar Odom and Sashe Vujacic.
Shannon Brown was the low man on the team, scoring two points.
Boston made 36-of-84 shots to shoot 42.9% and hit 11-of-16 three-pointers (68.8%) and 20-of-26 free throws (76.9%).
Los Angeles connected on 29-of-71 shots to shoot 40.8% and made a dismal 5-of-22 three pointers (22.7%) and 31-of-41 free throws (75.6%).
The Celtics totaled 44 rebounds, 28 assists, 13 turnovers, six steals and three blocks while the Lakers had 29 rebounds, 18 assists, 15 turnovers, eight steals and 14 blocks.
The series shifts back to Boston for the next three games. The Celtics host the Lakers in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night at 9 p.m. EST (TV/Radio: ABC, TSN/WEEI).
Gethin Coolbaugh is the Associate Editor of Boston Sports U18. He can be reached at 774-279-1995 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit Gethin Coolbaugh’s official website and follow Gethin Coolbaugh on Twitter.