Substitutes Glen Davis and Nate Robinson provided an emotional and offensive spark in the fourth quarter as the Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers 96-89 to tie the NBA Finals at two games apiece.
Davis came off the bench to score 18 points, five of which came on a 9-0 Boston run early in the fourth quarter that wiped out the Lakers’ last lead and gave the home team a 71-64 advantage.
Kobe Bryant, who had 33 points to lead the Lakers, was held to two field goals in the final period as Davis and Robinson worked the crowd at TD Garden into a frenzy.
“I just felt like a beast, I just felt like I couldn’t be denied,” Davis said in a postgame news conference. “It’s not very often you get a chance to be in the Finals and be a part of something so great.”
Game 5 of the best-of-seven series is set for June 13 in Boston. The teams will return to Los Angeles for Game 6 on June 15 and, if necessary, Game 7 on June 17.
Robinson, who was traded from the New York Knicks to Boston in February, added 12 points as the Boston bench outscored the Lakers’ subs 36-18. Davis had as many points as the entire Los Angeles bench.
“I’m loving it right now,” said Robinson, whose on-court enthusiasm made him a fan favorite in New York even as he fell out of favor with Knicks management. “I just felt like a kid at the park. This is the stuff we’ve been doing since we were 5 or 6 years old.”
‘Stepped On It’
The Lakers led 62-60 at the start of the fourth quarter. Davis made a short shot to tie the game before Pau Gasol, who ended with 21 points, hit a 7-foot jumper to give the Lakers their final lead last night. Davis and teammate Ray Allen each made two shots, and Davis added a free throw, on the Celtics’ 9-0 run. Robinson had assists on two of the baskets on that run.
“They really stepped on it in the fourth quarter,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said in a news conference. “We seemed to not be able to stop their momentum. Their bench outplayed us.”
Robinson said he’s happy to give the Celtics a spark.
“The more energy I bring, the more I get the crowd involved and my teammates,” he said. “I just love bringing the energy.”