The Lakers were better, but still shouldn't feel too great about their 87-81 victory in Game 3. The triangle offense isn't netting them much, Gasol and Odom aren't producing and are playing soft, and without 20 points off the bench from Vujacic, LA doesn't win.
The Celtics, meanwhile, got very little from Pierce and Garnett, who were 8-for-35 combined, yet held a lead in the fourth quarter of a road game in which the Lakers were desperate.
LA's defense was improved -- and that made a huge difference.
Ultimately, for the Lakers to win the next two games, they need to get out and run and get more easy baskets. We're three games into this series now, and it doesn't appear LA's offense will be anywhere near as good as it was earlier in the playoffs. The Celtics' defense is too locked in.