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Kevin Garnett then hit a jumper, and after another possession of stifling defense, Rondo hit another jumper, celebrating with a swing of his arm in the mostly silent Staples Center.
Rondo has grown into possibly the Celtics' biggest offensive threat in these playoffs. Although it wasn't as gaudy as his monstrous 29-point, 18-rebound, 13-assist Game 4 in the second round against Cleveland, his 10-point fourth quarter against the Lakers looms among his largest achievements -- particularly if Boston gets rolling toward its 18th championship during three straight games at home over the next week.
"He just did a lot of things -- the blocked shots, the steals," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "He's our quarterback, and he does a lot of stuff for us. He was special tonight."
After the Lakers' whistle-plagued 102-89 victory in the opener, both teams again struggled under the weight of foul trouble. Garnett and Bryant both spent extra time on the bench, with Bryant picking up his fifth foul early in the fourth.
Garnett had just six points, and Paul Pierce never got going, scoring 10 on 2-of-11 shooting. The Lakers stayed in it with an inside game that generated 41 free throws -- 15 more than Boston -- and strong efforts from Gasol and Bynum.
With Allen and Rondo playing spectacular basketball, none of their flaws mattered much.
"Our big guys played great," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "We didn't get the ball often enough to them, or in a good enough position many times, and a lot of our outside shooting was not that (good). ... In a sequence like this, there's no doubt it's a blow to us to lose the homecourt, but we anticipated this might happen, and we're just going to have to go pick it up."
Bryant's vaunted defense didn't help much after switching onto Allen, and Kobe didn't even get his second field goal of the game until Allen already had 22 points. Bryant spent most of the first half's final minutes on the bench after picking up his third foul on a charging call drawn by Allen.
NOTES: Allen was one shy of the record for 3-pointers in one half of any playoff game. ... Before the game, the NBA unveiled the logo for next February's All-Star weekend at Staples Center. ... Toronto big man Chris Bosh heard from plenty of Lakers fans who would like to see him in purple and gold next fall when he walked around Staples Center's lower bowl.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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