Kevin Garnett's injury: Don't let the picture deceive you
Despite the impression this photo may give, the Lakers did not beat up on the Celtics. The Lakers lost, 109-96, Sunday to Boston in every way imaginable, including undisciplined defense, a disappearing front line and little help to complement Kobe Bryant's 41 points.
Pau Gasol's inadvertent elbow to Kevin Garnett's head resulted in some streaming blood, five stitches and a conspicuous patch, but it didn't mean Gasol beat up on him. In fact, Gasol's passiveness and five-of-13 shooting harked back to his underwhelming performance and surrender to physical contact in the 2008 NBA Finals.
The Celtics (36-11) aren't the ones who look worn down. They look like serious championship contenders. Meanwhile, the Lakers (33-15) have plenty of areas they need to sharpen should they be fortunate enough to meet Boston in the NBA Finals, though they'd have to survive San Antonio (40-7) first.
-- Mark Medina
Photo: Celtics power forward Kevin Garnett walks to the bench after taking an inadvertent elbow from Lakers power forward Pau Gasol in the second quarter, Jan. 30, 2011. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times