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NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 6, halftime: Lakers 51, Celtics 31

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This was supposed to be a close series. It has been pretty much, up until this half.

The Lakers played much better defense than the last couple games, holding Boston to 34 percent shooting, 2 of 10 from three and just 31 first half points. Meanwhile the Lakers converted those misses into a lot of transition looks and better shooting, 47 percent overall and 4 of 9 from three.

The result is a 20-point halftime lead, 51-31 Lakers.

Just to make things worse for Boston, Kendrick Perkins had an awkward fall going for a rebound, hurt his knee and had to be helped to the locker room. He will not be back for the second half.

That means more Sheed and Big Baby, but the Celtics bench has not been the same on the left coast. The Boston bench is 0-5.

Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are a combined 13 of 27 shooting to account for 29 of the 31 points. They have shown up.

All Celtics outside the big three are 1 of 14. Doc Rivers said before the game he was not sure what to expect from his bench and role players. This has to make him a little bit sick.

Meanwhile, Jordan Farmar has played well for the Lakers, and Sasha Vujacic is hitting shots. Kobe has 15 points to lead the team, Pau Gasol has 7 points and 8 boards. And the Lakers have run the offense, not relied on the isolation that got them in trouble in Boston.

It is looking like there will be one more game. Thursday night, for all the marbles. But in this series, would a 20-point comeback surprise anyone?