Last note: Boston matched the second-worst scoring total in NBA finals history.
Utah scored 54 against the Bulls in 1998.
The Knicks scored 67 against the Spurs in 1999.
And now the Celtics joined New York with only 67 points in a finals game.
Not the kind of history Boston wanted tonight.
With that, good night.
Final. Lakers 89, Celtics 67.
"We did a great job," Kobe Bryant just said in the ABC postgame interview.
Understatement of the night, for sure.
Game 7 on Thursday night, 9 p.m.
All for one, one for all. See you then.
Earlier in these playoffs, Kobe Bryant was asked about Phil Jackson's demeanor before playoff games.
Kobe gave some serious insight.
Bryant's answer, which came after Game 5 of the Phoenix series: "He's the same old, same old. You really couldn't tell if it was a Game 5 or Game 7 or Game 1 or Game 1 of a regular season. His mood is always the same. His message is always the same. And I think for us it instills a stability that other teams might not have."
You'd think Jackson — he's the Zen Master, remember — will have something special for his pregame bag of tricks Thursday night.
Meanwhile, there's speculation Doc Rivers might take a year off to spend time with family. The Celtics are already losing Tom Thibodeau to the Bulls. Ray Allen might leave Boston this offseason. That's a lot of distractions for Boston to think about going into the ultimate game.
Kobe's night is finally done with 3:21 left, and Lakers up 88-62.
No real show of emotion as he walks to the bench. Still all business, as you would expect. Drapes a towel over his shoulders, slaps a few high-fives, and starts figuring out what he'll say about Thursday night.
It's baffling that so many starters are still in the game.
Is there a fifth quarter planned that hasn't been announced?
With 4:14 left, Kevin Garnett comes out for Boston, as does Paul Pierce. So Phil Jackson takes his cue, taking Lamar Odom out of the game, but Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol remain on the court for the Lakers.
Boston's low game for scoring this season was 73 points, against the San Antonio Spurs on March 28. The Celtics' only other game under 80 this season was 78, against Orlando, back in November.
Lakers' season-low allowed? That'd be 77 points, twice, once against Utah and once against Milwaukee.
With this game being an 80-59 blowout with 6:05 left, it seems like there could soon be new entries on those lists.
Boston fans, here are your lottery numbers for Thursday night:
1978. 1974. And 1969.
Those are the three years in which the road team won Game 7 in the NBA finals.
Washington beat Seattle in 1978, Boston topped Milwaukee in 1974 and — you guessed it — Boston won in Los Angeles in 1969 for the title.
Up by 26 with 9:30 left, here's a question for the coach with 10 championship rings.
Hey, Phil Jackson, why are Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol on the floor?
Look at Boston's plight with Kendrick Perkins. One misstep can change everything. The Lakers could put the 1988 Lakers out there right now and win this game by at least 10.
Same goes for Doc Rivers with Rasheed Wallace. If Perkins is seriously hurt, Boston will need Wallace on Thursday night. And if Wallace gets a technical foul in garbage time here, that'll be seven in this year's playoffs — earning him an automatic suspension for Game 7.
Lakers 76-51 after three quarters.
Ron Artest hitting big 3's, Nate Robinson forcing shots, Rajon Rondo shaken up ... could this get any worse for Boston?
Celtics bench still has zero points, which is befuddling. A few nights ago, Robinson and Glen Davis touted themselves as "Shrek and Donkey." Tonight, they're just donkeys.
Probably won't see much of Boston's starters in the fourth. Time to turn the focus to Thursday night.
All the Lakers are doing now is maintaining.
It's a trick they learned from the Celtics in Game 5.
When Kobe Bryant was on his scoring blitz on Sunday night, popping 23 straight points for the Lakers in one stretch, the Celtics simply went to the other end and found some way to match KB24's effort.
That's what the Lakers are doing now.
It's not the same inspired, pedal-to-the-metal approach the Lakers had in the first half, but they're not taking any unnecessary risks at this point. It's hockey with a two-goal lead, soccer with a one-goal lead ... attack just enough to say so, but don't make the big mistake.
So far, the Lakers seem perfectly in control.
How did Shannon Brown do that?
On a set play, Brown goes up for a lob, only to have the ball slip out of his hand.
No problem — he dunked it anyway. With his wrist, simply using that to slam the ball through the rim.
Everything working for the Lakers right now. 64-45, 4:25 left in the third.
Celtics had some chances early in the third quarter, only to miss five of their first six shots, including three tries right at the rim.
Can't give those away when trying to dig out of a huge hole.
Lamar Odom hits a jumper, Pau Gasol connects, and the Lakers still up comfortably, 55-35 with 7:45 left in the third.
Still, Staples Center seems a whole lot quieter than it was an hour ago.
As expected, Kendrick Perkins is out for the rest of Game 6.
Assuming the Lakers hang on to this 20-point lead, the Celtics say they'll reevaluate him tomorrow, but it would be nothing short of stunning if Perkins is able to give Boston much of anything on Thursday night.
Derek Fisher just got his fourth foul, so there's a glimmer of hope for the Celtics as the second half gets under way.
Halftime, Lakers lead 51-31.
Simply dominant showing by the Western Conference champions, and apparently, L.A.'s bench got tired of hearing all the reserve plaudits going to Glen Davis, Nate Robinson and the Celtics' backups. Lakers lead 15-0 in bench scoring.
Celtics matched the fourth-lowest scoring first half in NBA finals history (three teams scored just 30).
If Boston comes back to win, it would be historic.
Baltimore came from 21 down at halftime (41-20) to beat Philadelphia in the 1948 finals, the biggest midway-mark deficit overcome to win a finals game. The Celtics were down by 18 at Los Angeles in the 2008 finals and prevailed by six.
Clearly, all the odds are stacked against Boston now.
And we're already thinking about just the second Game 7 in the finals in 16 years. All signs point to Thursday night.
See you in the third quarter.
This is what you have to love about Kobe Bryant, if you're a basketball purist.
His team is up by 22 points.
Bryant gambles for a steal and doesn't make the play. That leaves Kevin Garnett open, and KG knocks down a jumper.
Boo-hoo, the lead is down to 20.
And Kobe spends the next 5 seconds apologizing to his team.
The great ones just don't take any possession off. That's why they become great ones.
You get the feeling the Lakers will survive the mistake. They're up 49-29 with 2:17 in the half.
Everything going the Lakers' way early.
Bench scoring: Lakers 13-0.
Rebounds: Lakers 24-10.
Field goal percentage: Lakers 50, Celtics 39.
The difference in Game 6 as opposed to Games 4 and 5? Easy. Lakers were desperate early, got rolling, and got their confidence back.
Celtics have no spark right now, and you can't help but think the loss of Kendrick Perkins has more than a little to do with damaging their collective psyche.
The Celtics have been here before.
The last time the Lakers led at home by 15 or more points and lost was June 12, 2008 — in the finals, against Boston, when Los Angeles ran out to a 35-14 lead after one quarter, eventually pushed the lead to 24, and then wound up losing 97-91.
It's 40-23 now, 6:15 left in the half.
Not over, but the Celtics are in big trouble. Biggest lead the Lakers have blown at home in the last two seasons? That would be 14, on three occasions.
Yes, they are paying attention in Boston tonight.
At Fenway Park, they're chanting "Beat L.A.!" Never mind that the Red Sox aren't playing the Angels or Dodgers, but the Arizona Diamondbacks.
By the middle of the first quarter, the Red Sox were leading the Diamondbacks 6-3 in the sixth inning and seats started emptying around the stands. The seats outside the luxury boxes were largely empty, as fans headed inside to watch the Celtics on TV.
Boston police were planning to close the main street outside Fenway to traffic to allow for crowd control in case a celebration breaks out. Because, you know, traffic always moves so smoothly around Fenway to begin with.
Big trouble for Boston.
Rasheed Wallace has three fouls with 9 minutes left in the half, and nearly lost his cool. Kendrick Perkins is getting X-rays in the back of Staples Center, his return — at best — no sure thing.
Lakers are up by 12, Kobe Bryant is rolling and Paul Pierce just had a look of "Uh-oh" on the Celtics bench.
No Perkins, no Wallace, the Celtics will need Glen Davis to come up with some magic again.
You knew Kobe Bryant was going to come strong with the season on the line for the Lakers.
He can't do it alone.
So Ron Artest decided to show up for Game 6.
Artest's scoring numbers from Games 2-5? In order, six, two, nine and seven points.
He already has eight tonight, including a pair of 3-pointers, and the Lakers lead 28-18 after the first 12 minutes.
Never a good sign when someone's knee buckles on a landing, which is what just happened to Celtics center Kendrick Perkins.
Jostling for a rebound, Perkins — who has the leaping ability of most large trucks, which is to say, none — tried to battle Andrew Bynum as Kobe Bryant came in to challenge, as well.
Perkins' right knee appeared to give a bit on the landing of his hop, and he remained down for a few moments before limping very slowly, and with help from Shelden Williams, toward the Celtics' locker room.
Rasheed Wallace checks in. No official word yet on Perkins, but the way he was walking, it didn't look good at all.
Meanwhile, Bryant is off to a 5 for 6 start, and the Lakers lead 21-16 with 4:30 left in the first.
Ray Allen — finally!
Allen missed 18 consecutive 3-pointers in these finals, a baffling feat considering how Allen is one of the best shooters on the planet, before getting one to fall with about 4½ minutes gone in the opening quarter.
A good sign for the Celtics, who have handled the early storm from the Lakers. And Lakers' point guard Derek Fisher just got his second foul, coming at the 6:37 mark.
Lakers 18-12, midway through the first.
Kobe Bryant isn't waiting around tonight.
Bryant's M.O. in these finals has largely been to sit back early, let teammates find their flow, then start to amp up his own offensive game.
Not in Game 6, not down 3-2 in the series to the Boston Celtics. Bryant took the first two shots for the Los Angeles Lakers.
He will take at least 25 shots tonight, easy.
The last time a road team had a chance to win the finals in Game 6 was four years ago, when Miami went to Dallas up 3-2.
The Heat won the title, of course.
And Udonis Haslem — huge in the Heat's 95-92 clinching win in Dallas — says tonight is Boston's chance.
"I think Boston will take care of it," Haslem said earlier today.
Much like Boston likely will tonight, Miami took a swagger into Game 6. Heat coach Pat Riley had written on a whiteboard in the visiting locker room in Dallas the phrase "6-20-06" after the Heat lost Game 2 in Dallas to fall behind 2-0 in the series. That was the date of Game 6. Riley pointed to it on June 8, telling his team that would be the night they would win the NBA title.
Sure enough, he was right.
Up 3-2 after sweeping the middle three games at home, Riley packed one suit, one shirt, one tie for the trip to Dallas. Game 7 wasn't an option, and the Heat knew it.
"And I'm pretty sure Boston feels the same way," Haslem said. "They don't want to go to a Game 7 in L.A. Not with the crowd and the momentum the Lakers could possibly have heading into Game 7. Who knows if Pau Gasol gets it back on or if somebody could possibly step up? That could just change the whole series. So I think Boston definitely wants to finish it tonight."
Tip off is here.
Interesting. Good luck charm or just coincidence?
Tonight's national anthem singer in Los Angeles was five-time Grammy winner Christina Aguilera.
Which surely gets conspiracy theorists atwitter ... here's why.
A team from Boston held a 3-2 lead in a championship series in 1986. The World Series. The Bill Buckner game, of course. Red Sox lost Game 6, on the road, then lost Game 7 in Shea Stadium two nights later.
The winning pitcher for the Mets in Game 6? Rick Aguilera.
Got to be coincidence, right?
A huge day for the NBA.
So far today, Steve Kerr left the Phoenix Suns, Tom Izzo decided not to leave Michigan State and Dwyane Wade got a county renamed for him.
Oh, and the Boston Celtics might win their 18th NBA title.
Yeah, remember, the finals?
Game 6 moments away in Los Angeles, Lakers down 3-2 and trying desperately to force a winner-take-all for the title on Thursday night. Teams are on the floor, getting ready. Tip off moments away.