Celtics defend home court


BOSTON, Massachusetts, June 11 – Paul Pierce had 19 points, six rebounds and five assists and Glen Davis came off the bench to score 18 points as Boston beat Los Angeles 96-89 in game four of the NBA finals.
Reserve guard Nate Robinson had 12 points for the Celtics who used a balanced scoring attack to beat the Lakers and level the best-of-seven championship series at two games apiece, on Thursday.

"It was all will and determination," said Davis. "I am proud of our guys. We played great.

"This is where you grab the moment. It is immortality. All you can do is play in the moment."

The sold out Boston Garden crowd of 18,624 was treated to a superb performance by the Celtics’ bench players in what started out as a defensive battle before Boston busted loose in the fourth.

Game five is Sunday in Boston.

The Celtics, who won it all in 2008, are seeking their NBA record 18th title while defending champion Los Angeles are looking for their 16th title in franchise history.

The Celtics kept it close through three quarters then got their offence untracked by outscoring the Lakers 34-29 in the fourth quarter.

"We knew we had to bring our energy," Robinson said. "We stayed together and kept our composure. I wanted to fire the crowd up."

Kobe Bryant finished with 33 points and Pau Gasol had 21 points for the Lakers.

Boston’s Paul Pierce buried an NBA finals record eight threes in game two but Thursday it was Bryant’s turn.

Bryant nailed six-of-11 from the arc but he also finished the game with five fouls and committed seven turnovers as the Celtics did a good job of making sure one of the best closers in the NBA didn’t take over the game in the final two minutes.

The Celtics came out with another great start for the second game in a row and led 19-16 at the end of the first before allowing the Lakers to take a 45-42 lead at the half.