Reporting from Boston — Big Baby and Nate Robinson were like two cartoon characters, ramping up the energy for the Celtics in Game 4.
There was Robinson flexing and gesturing, and later looking like he wanted a piece of the much taller Lamar Odom, a laughable notion. Then you had the excitable Glen Davis (Big Baby), who, at one point, appeared to be practicing his dance moves at the free-throw line.
But their antics cut both ways Thursday.
They energized and inspired their teammates.
But the talking and gesturing pulled the Lakers in, and it seemed to take them out of their game in a 96-89 loss to the Celtics that left the NBA Finals tied, 2-2.
"That shouldn't play a factor at all," Lakers reserve Shannon Brown said. "What we do on the basketball court … they can say what they want, do what they want. It is what it is.
"That's the team that they are. But that shouldn't play a factor in what we do on the basketball court."
But a second later, Brown admitted that it did.
He was asked if the Lakers reacted to the antics.
"I think we did," he said. "I think we fell into it a little bit too much and started running our stuff, our offense," he said. "Stopped talking on defense a little bit.
"But we can't do that. We know what we've got to do. We know this team. We know what they do. We know who they are. We've got to stay within ourselves."
The loss of composure did not go unnoticed by Lakers Coach Phil Jackson.
"They [the Celtics] had their backs against the wall tonight, and they played desperate and they got away with it," he said. "We let that happen, but I thought overdribbling the ball, not moving the ball, not playing at the same level with the composure that we have to play with.
"I thought their animation and their activity level, you know, affected us. Guys wanted to get back into it with them a couple times. Nate Robinson and the chatter that went back and forth there. … Every time we got the guys composed a little bit, we got back into the game. But we couldn't get the momentum back."
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