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Celtics' bench much warmer

Glen Davis and Nate Robinson combine for 30 points to give the Celtics a strong presence off the bench in Game 4.

June 10, 2010|By Lisa Dillman

And a baby shall lead them …

Make that a Big Baby.

Inexplicably, it was Big Baby and a Smurf leading the way for the Celtics in the fourth quarter against the Lakers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

Big Baby, of course, was Glen Davis and the Smurf was backup point guard Nate Robinson, all of 5 feet 9, who combined for 30 points, 15 of those coming in the final quarter in the Celtics' 96-89 victory on Thursday night at TD Garden.

That, quite clearly, was the matchup of Game 4.

The Lakers bench vs. the Celtics bench.

It was not much of a contest. Boston's bench combined for 36 points, and the Lakers reserves could only muster 18, led by Lamar Odom's 10.

In fact, the Celtics took control with just one starter on the floor during their fourth-quarter surge, and that was the previously (and mightily) struggling Ray Allen.

Davis had 18 points and five rebounds, and Robinson scored 12 points, making two three-pointers.

Davis and Robinson gave the Celtics instant energy and instant offense and seemed to get into the Lakers' heads with their antics.

"I just felt like a beast," said Davis, who made seven of 10 from the field. "Really, I'm going to be honest with you. I just felt like I couldn't be denied."

Frankly, Davis and Robinson were stunned they were in the game so long, and at such a crucial time. The likes of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins, not to mention point guard Rajon Rondo, kept on sitting and watching.

Davis: "I was looking at the clock like, when is he [Coach Doc Rivers] going to come get me?"

Robinson: "I was thinking the same thing."

Davis: "We're playing, but the timeout goes by, he didn't sub. I was like, 'Man, he's letting us roll.'"

Rivers said, in fact, the starters wanted the reserves to stay in the game.

"Hell, Rondo and all of them, they were begging me to keep guys in, 'Don't take them out! Don't take them out!'" Rivers said. "It was great. That was the loudest I've seen our bench, and it was our starters cheering from the bench. I thought it was terrific."

Said Davis: "I want to give Doc a hug, man. I love Doc."

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson mentioned the Celtics' reserves almost immediately in his opening comments in the postgame news conference, saying: "Their bench outplayed us in that sequence."

Odom's lackluster performance did not go unnoticed.

"I thought Lamar was going to kind of sit this one out," Jackson said. "He wasn't really having success, and I thought the scoring Davis did at the other end of the floor affected his game, affected Lamar's game."

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

twitter.com/reallisa

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