By JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer

Backup Glen “Big Baby” Davis scored half of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as the Celtics bench pulled away from the Los Angeles Lakers to win 96-89 on Thursday night and even the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.

Game 5 is Sunday night in Boston. The Celtics’ win guaranteed them a trip back to Los Angeles and averted a 3-1 deficit that has never been overcome in NBA finals history.

“Just will, that’s all it is,” Davis said. “This is what legends are made of, this is where you grasp the moment. … Just play in the moment.”

Kobe Bryant scored 33 points and Pau Gasol had 21 for the Lakers.

Paul Pierce scored 19, Kevin Garnett had 13 and Ray Allen bounced back from a seven-quarter shooting slump to score 12 points for Boston. But the new Big Three that led the Celtics to their 17th NBA title in 2008—beating the Lakers in the finals—was on the bench for much of the fourth-quarter run that gave Boston the lead for good.

“They were fine. They were cheering,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of the starters. “I don’t think guys really care and that’s why we’re here, it really is. (Rajon) Rondo and the rest of them, they were begging me to keep guys in. ‘Don’t take them out! Don’t take them out!’ It was great. That’s the loudest I’ve seen our bench, and it was the starters cheering from the bench. I thought it was terrific.”

Bryant hit three straight 3-pointers to give the Lakers a 62-58 lead with 1:25 left in the third. Davis’ putback left the Celtics trailing by two points heading into the final quarter, and he scored on a reverse layup in the opening minute of the fourth to tie it.

Gasol made a basket to give L.A. the lead—its last of the game—before Allen scored, Davis followed, Allen made another basket and Davis followed with a three-point play that made it 71-64 with 8:22 left.

In all, the Celtics scored 13 of 15 points during a five-minute span when Allen was the only starter on the court, mostly with Davis, Rasheed Wallace, Nate Robinson and Tony Allen. Asked if he was surprised to see his bench extend the lead, Rivers said: “I’m happy. I don’t know about surprised.”

“We’ve done that during the season, but this is the finals,” Rivers said. “So it’s obviously different against such a quality team.”

Robinson scored 12 points in 17 minutes as the Celtics’ bench outscored the Lakers’ 36-18. Ten of L.A.’s bench points came from Lamar Odom, who played 39 minutes after starting center Andrew Bynum tested his sore knee but did not play in the second half.

“We just knew we had to bring our energy, that’s the main thing for us,” Robinson said of his fellow reserves. “The more energy we bring, the better offensively we are and the better defensively we are.”

Ray Allen, who had a record eight 3-pointers in Game 2 and then went 0 for 13 from the field in Game 3, made his first basket but then went cold again, missing his next six shots before snapping out of it. He finished 4 for 11 from the field—missing all four 3-pointers, but scored 10 points in the second half.

The Celtics led 74-66—their biggest lead of the game to that point—when Wallace was called for a foul after knocking the ball away from Bryant under the basket. Wallace argued and drew a technical—his sixth of the playoffs, meaning both he and Kendrick Perkins are one away from a one-game suspension.

Bryant missed the “T” but hit the other free throws to bring the Lakers within six points. It was still a six-point game when Wallace hit a 3-pointer to make it 79-70. Robinson drew a technical for getting in Odom’s face after a hard foul; Derek Fisher missed that free throw, and after Robinson hit his free throws Boston had an 81-72 lead with 5:39 left.

  • BisdakMamba24

    the ‘big 3′ must be drooling over ‘big baby’ bwahaha!

  • ericlalfan

    Don’t you worry!! Kobe and the Lakers will win in Los Angeles! Go Lakers!!!! Kobe for MVP!

  • zreyak

    Great game for Kobe! Too bad Andrew didn’t played that much. I hope he’ll be able to play next game. And Derek was in foul trouble early in the game. They could’ve won the game. Lakers 2010 NBA Champions in Game 6!

  • mizbasketball24

    i am very mad that lakers lost but i know and believe in them that they take it again this year. shot out to kobe and fisher

  • crazy fan of KB24

    kobe nice score
    don’t worry guys , we all know that u will win game 5
    goooooooooooo lakers goooooooooooo kobe

  • Kobes Chica

    b s

  • kobeshoots24

    lakers will win if they do what i just said to do…contain rhondo, pierce and allen…grab boards and we are good to go…now i know its not as ez as 1 2 3..i know its way harder than that…its like saying a-rod hit the fastball thats coming down the plate…he doesnt always do it…but u know why he is the all time active leading homerun hitter? because he does just that…see fastball…crush fastball..basics….when he gets caughts guessing or letting his mental mess up his mind it affects his swing…so lakers do the basics…dnt stress what u been doing from toddlers…score, defend, rebound and we win…the basics…to do the hardest math in the world u still need to know the basics of lakers dnt let me down..besides im tired of the boston better txt messages everynight… a 1000 and 1 txts all at once…we la win its nothing but crickets

  • yakii

    bby u know that u can beat boston anyware at anytimee because ur the best love u!!!!
    >>3 :)

  • kobekama

    hey kobe wats up? im ur huggest fan fr Jamaica mon
    how long is this team willing 2 play without a bench? lamar cant do it alone
    they need 2 step up. this the finals, there is nothing else
    win or lose, La needs a bench, or the starters will burn out b4 their 3 yr contracts r thru

  • osakman

    mamba everytıme one fıve rıng

  • skassis

    celtics got lucky in their fourth game, in the fourth quarter,lakers will make changes and win it big on Sunday at boston, let’s go lakers make history win the fifth game at Boston their last game of the season. Go Kobe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Go Pau!!!!!!!!!!!!!Go Lamar!!!!!!

  • Jacee

    I hope and believe we will win,beat them!!whatever it will be,I think once we try our best to do there has gains fr just do it right now.go go go !!!!!!!

  • andreyb

    Sure felt like it was not just about the energy. Court awareness, ability to see enough of the picture of what is going on on the floor and react to it, played a big role. Drew got blocked since he either did not see KG coming or hoped to jump much higher than he was able to with his bad knee. Pau did not see Ray and lost that key offensive board. Kobe keeps getting caught by Rondo reaching from his back side. On the other hand, if you look at what Big Babe’s going, a lot of that is actually from his good court vision and getting to optimal offensive spots. Most of his shots are well calculated and just about an inch from getting blocked. So the Lakers have to improve both on court vision and on the way the players react to what they see. Maybe especially for Bynum as if he is not able to move at his best, he has to see the floor and understand things better to quicker identify the key spots to be able to control them.

  • Asa24

    come on kobe now you got to step your game up

  • Merry Jones

    I think that Kobe and Pau Gasol had a tough break with fisher on the bench and Bynum injured and then for them to have to play the whole entire game no break, with the pressure of winning and being bodied by was just not their night, I still have hope that they are going to do this, because the L.A. Lakers are the better team. Pau Gasol is becoming that “great Player” and Kobe is just the best. I’ll be watchin

  • shakobe24

    dont give up los lakers….for me lakers is the best team in NBA history….g0.g0.g0..blackmamba…we trust you…take game 5 to win…and g0 back to staples center…..
    good lock team..
    and god bless….

  • shakobe24

    kobe..i wish to see you in personal…i really like to g0 in staples to see the game 6,7…
    DREAMS los Lakers…

  • thenextlegend24

    Robinson was playing good also saw that Shannon Brown can shoot some very nice shots.
    Kobe was playing also good 33pts not bad 😉

  • italyloveskobe

    ancora brucia il ricordo delle finals del 2008!
    andiamo a prenderci il titolo KOBE, andiamo a sbancare boston!
    io ci credo e molti altri ci credono!
    We believe in you and the lakers!
    Let’s go and win !!!! Together !!!

  • raul94

    andd i know that kobe doesnt read all these comments but let him see that one atleastt.

  • Saif

    Kobe, just keep working. I know you guys will pull it off at home.

  • ronniecrimes24

    kobe bryant youll did a good j0b call me at 229-942-9591

  • Asa24

    ooo wow you got nxt game

  • italyloveskobe

    I live in Italy. I don’t sleep for watching Lakers. The day after I can’t work for this ! I love you Lakers, but please don’t play like games 4 and 5. Belief ! We still believe in you, Kobe, and all the Lakers. But without HEART, you can win a battle, but you don’t win the war ! I’ll see games 6 and 7, I will not sleep and I’ll watch you on TV.
    We still have home court. We must protect our home court! NOT IN OUR HOUSE!!! Let’s go Kobe, let’s go Lakers !!! With energy, belief and heart nothing is impossible!

  • victor2k10

    Hey kobe im a huge fan and i hope that the lakers win on tonights game with the celtics

  • kobedoinwork24

    Kobe Dont need to worry bout nothing we got this

  • justinnutz