Celtics-Lakers, Game Three, Third Quarter: Of Course You Were Expecting Eddie House and Trevor Ariza
> Early in the third, Rajon Rondo goes down with a bad ankle. Quick, get Paul Pierce's Magic Wheelchair! Seriously, if he's really hurt, that's a major problem for the Celtics, in that it means more Sam Cassell on the floor... and right after the substitution, it's Eddie House with a force and a miss. Considering that the Celtics scored only 37 in the first half, they really didn't need to lose their starter at point guard.
> When Kendrick Perkins gets a shaky continuation call, you know the world has changed. And that the refs hate Vlad Radmanovic's game as much as everyone else.
> Rondo's sprain is said to be mild, and he's returning, even without the magic wheelchair. It's like Willis Reed... today, when he gets up to get the newspaper, and let the dog out.
> Pau Gasol's just terrible tonight, but the Lakers are getting contributions from Sasha Vujacic and Trevor Ariza (no, seriously). The Celtics weren't much more than Ray Allen for a long time tonight, and that's why the game feels more like a Game One than a Game Three.
> Derek Fisher is one of those subtle reasons why the Lakers have underperformed so far in this series. Rondo owned him in both games in Boston, and when Rondo went down in the third quarter, he wasn't able to exploit House. For a guy with a playoff rep, he's been a big problem.
> With 5 minutes left in the third, Bryant got Pierce's fourth foul after the Celtics took a lead with a 12-2 run... and then proceeded to miss another free throw. After an Allen 3, it's a 4-point Celtics lead, and while I really do expect a return run from the home team, they are a gutless 16 minutes away from being in Sweep City.
> Every third quarter has been the Celtics so far in this series, and this one is no different; it was +29 with three minutes left, and in each game, the men in green have just seemed to go for the kill here. The fourth quarter has been a different story, but if we've learned anything in these NBA playoffs, is that you don't want to be behind in the fourth, because those comebacks rarely, if ever, get all the way home.
> Your Free Throw Update... Celtics get to the line more than Lakers in the third quarter! Call the authorities! And after an Odom miss in transition, the quarter ends with a two point Celtics lead, and an 8 point swing. We're 12 minutes away from knowing if the Lakers have any sac at all, and if the Celtics have really put their road woes to rest.