In the end, a team that spent all season dealing with — but never solving — their fourth-quarter woes was done in by it.
The Celtics fell short in their quest for NBA title No. 18 last night at Staples Center because they couldn’t finish off the Lakers. They watched a 3-point lead with 6:29 left suddenly turn into a 6-point deficit. The Celtics played a brilliant game up to that point, and needed a series of big plays to polish off a masterpiece.