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Michael Cooper had the biggest shot of the game...

By FREDERICK WATERMAN, UPI Sports Writer

BOSTON -- Michael Cooper had the biggest shot of the game in his hands. Whether he got it out of his hands is debatable.

The Boston Celtics rallied from an 18-point third-quarter deficit to pull within 104-100 of Los Angeles in Game 2 Thursday night with less than two minutes remaining.

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The Lakers had the ball, Cooper passed it down low to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who could not work free. With a few seconds left on the shot clock, he tossed the ball back out to Cooper at the top of the key.

Cooper looked inside then took the shot, the 24-second buzzer sounding as he released.

'I fired it up and didn't know how much time was left until I hit the shot,' said Cooper. 'Then everyone started screaming for a violation. I'm glad I didn't know (the time), I might have thrown up a brick.'

Celtic guard Danny Ainge said he wasn't sure if Cooper's shot was legal.

'I checked with the officials and they checked with the third official on the side, who said it was OK.'

Larry Bird said that the Lakers were playing so well that the game had no turning point.

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'They were in control from the first second until the last,' he said. 'I would have liked to have been in their shoes. They just hit every key shot.'

The Celtics forward, who led his team with 30 points, demeaned Boston's defensive effort.

'We were lazy,' he said. 'In this league you can't let anyone have an open shot. You have five guys out thee, but if there is one little movement missing, you're beating your head against the wall.'

Cedric Maxwell said that Boston's 34-point victory in Game 1 wasn't put aside by the opening tap, which led toThursday's 109-102 loss.

'You can never safeguard against playing a perfect game. We didn't play with too much intensity and they did what they had to do.'

Bird fears that the Game 2 loss might have been crucial.

'We've put the pressure on ourselves now,' he said. 'If we had won the first two games here, we'd have had a great shot at winning the championship. Now, if we come back from LA behind 3-2, anything can happen, LA could get hot and that could be it.'

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