Not only has a Phil Jackson team never lost a series after winning the opening game, winners of Game 3 in the finals normally go on to win the series. The Lakers are underdogs at the Internet bookmaker because they are on the road but with a 2-1 series lead they are still the overall favorites to win the series.
The Lakers got a big win vs. the Internet bookmaker odds in Game 3 as they defeated the Celtics in Boston. It was a hard fought victory that was won with defense and with Derek Fisher hitting big shots. Two years ago the Lakers couldn’t find a way to win in Boston but they have found a way now. The Lakers played tough defense, got key shots from Fisher and took control of the series.
After the Celtics won Game 2 in Los Angeles, Paul Pierce ran his mouth about how the NBA Finals wouldn’t be coming back to Los Angeles. If the Celtics don’t play much better, the series may not be coming back but it would be because the Lakers won three straight in Boston. The Celtics came back against Cleveland after trailing 2-1 in that series but the Lakers are not the Cavaliers. The Lakers are well coached, have the best player in the game in Kobe Bryant and a strong supporting cast led by Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher. The Lakers also have history on their side. Since the NBA Finals went to the 2-3-2 format in 1985, there have been a total of 10 series that were tied 1-1 after two games. In all 10 instances, the Game 3 winner went on to win the NBA title. That bodes well for the Lakers. If you go back even farther the history is just as daunting for the Celtics. When an NBA Finals series has been tied 1-1, the Game 3 winner has won 28 of the 32 NBA Finals.
For the Celtics to win the NBA Finals they will not only have to beat the Lakers again in Los Angeles; they will have to buck history and that may not be able to be something they can do.