Los Angeles entered the second quarter with a nine point lead and stretched it to 17 before even four minutes had run off the clock, leaving Boston to attempt to chip away at the hefty deficit with its struggling offense.
The Celtics answered with a 9-0 run, capped by a Rajon Rondo layup at the 5:20 mark, but the C's momentum was short lived as Kobe started to impose his will and the Lakers hit a quick spurt to stretch the lead back to a dozen as the critical final two minutes of the half neared.
Kobe continued to control the game despite shooting just 4-for-12 from the field, finishing the first 24 minutes with 14 points and six rebounds. Garnett led the way for Boston with 15 points and five rebounds.
The other two of "The Big Three" struggled mightily. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce combined to shoot 1-for-13 from the field, only scoring five points, which combined with Boston's 6-for-12 mark at the line versus the Lakers 13-for-15 tally at the charity stripe to leave the Celtics down 52-40 at the intermission.