No question last night's Celtics comeback from down 24 points in the first quarter will go down in history as one of the greatest games in Boston sports lore. But how often do we get to know that as the game is happening?
I sat on the edge of my couch and didn't move for 3 hours. In the 2nd quarter, the C's showed signs of life - I was hopeful that they could cut the lead to less than 10 before the half, but a half court 3 at the buzzer left the Lakers up 18. Everyone knows the Celtics own the third quarter, so I stayed up. I had no idea it would be to witness history.
Watching the Celtics chip away was excruciating - with each block, each Posey 3 pointer, each time Van Gundy pointed out no one has come back from a deficit that big, you start to think, "Could this be it?" It was like watching Lester's no-hitter, or Ortiz come up in the bottom of the 9th against Rivera. There is a magic in the game as it is happening that just can't be scripted, except in basketball it's more drawn out over a couple of hours.
As much faith as anyone should have in the Celtics at this point, they are playing the Lakers - in the first half the Lakers were the same team that shut down San Antonio and was undefeated at home previously in the playoffs. Kobe didn't score a point in the first half, and his team was dominating. In the third quarter I got superstitious - didn't want to change my position on the couch, didn't answer the phone, didn't soothe my 1 year old after I woke him up with a "YES!!!" when the Celtics cut the lead to single digits just after 11pm EST. With all the chest thumping from the Lakers this series, there is no team that has played with more heart than the Celtics in that next hour. Ray Allen played 48 minutes and looked like he could do a triathalon after the game. All I could think after the game was, "I can't believe what I just witnessed."
Not sure where this will fall in history. The Celtics need to close out the series for it to mean anything, but I get to say this once again - what a time to be a Boston sports fan.
(Interesting side note - if the NBA had actually started the game at a decent time most of the eastern seaboard could have seen this game finish. When does Stern acknowledge a 9pm start time is ridiculous?)