Lakers vs. Celtics, Game 5: Rubik’s Cube, All-Kobe Bryant Offense Dooms L.A.

One by one, in the span of 10 mesmerizing third quarter minutes, Kobe Bryant fired off shots like smart missiles.

He bagged a stepback triple. Ray Allen was there. Didn't matter.

He canned a floater with Kevin Garnett's hand inches way from blocking it. Didn't matter.

Somehow, even when he could not see the basket, he knew the ball would find the net.

In a locked down boardroom somewhere in the U.S., Lockheed Martin executives prepared to make him a lucrative job offer.

A few of the government's weapons control agents might have subpoenaed him for questioning.

The guy knows how to pull the trigger and hit a target.

He scored 19 points in the frame, seven away from a new all-time record for points in a Finals quarter.

Throughout Bryant's spectacular display, his teammates had to wonder if they, too, would get to bomb the village.

They never did, and the Celtics would learn less than an hour later that they survived to win 92-86 because of Bryant's barrage, not in spite of it.

As Bryant kept pouring it on in the third, Boston kept laying it in. The Celtics managed to build on a halftime lead when they surrendered 26 points in the third period because they scored 28.

What kept the Lakers attached in the second half also exposed the number of detached players in purple and gold.

Phil Jackson prefers to run the triangle offense. Sunday night, his team ran the Rubik's Cube offense. As the final score indicates, the Lakers could not solve it.

Gone were cuts by Pau Gasol to the rim. He made just five of 12 shots en route to 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Gone were those heroic moments from Derek Fisher. He signed, sealed, and delivered Game Three to the Lakers with a coast-to-coast, and one layup to cap his 11-point fourth quarter.

After making his first two at...

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