Celtics Trounce Lakers
Boston takes NBA Championship in six games
Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce (34) celebrates with Ray Allen near the end of Game 6 of the NBA basketball finals against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, June 17, 2008, in Boston, Massachussetts. (Photo: ©Elise Amendola/AP Images)
The Boston Celtics won their first NBA title in 22 years on Tuesday. The Celtics defeated the Los Angeles (L.A.) Lakers in six games to capture their 17th NBA Championship.
Fans in Boston went wild after the team's victory, singing and dancing as green and white confetti rained down on them. Longtime Celtics player Paul Pierce was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the finals.
With a final score of 131-92, it was one of the most lopsided Finals games in NBA history. "I thought we played from our heels from the very get-go. They overran us," said Phil Jackson, head coach of the Lakers.
At halftime, Boston led L.A., 58-35. The Lakers were unable to stop the Celtics in the second half, thanks in large part to the Celtics' unrelenting defense. Celtics head coach Doc Rivers elaborated on his defensive strategy to ESPN.
"We talked about it [Tuesday] morning in shootaround, that it was going to be our defense that would win the world championship for us," said Rivers. "We challenged them before the game . . . let's play 48 minutes of defense, just all-out . . . ."
Lakers star Kobe Bryant, frustrated by the crushing defeat, acknowledged the powerful Boston defense. "They were definitely the best defense I've seen the entire playoffs," he said. "I've seen some pretty stiff ones, and this was right up there with them."
The Celtics' championship will likely go down in history as one of basketball's greatest turnarounds. The gang in green won only 24 regular-season games last season compared with 66 victories this season.
MVP Paul Pierce also made history. He is the only Celtic since the legendary Larry Bird to score 2,000 points in a single season.
The 10-year Celtics veteran averaged 22 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 6.3 assists during the Finals. "I still can't believe right now that I've got a championship under my belt," Pierce told ESPN. "This is unreal."
The Celtics victory over the Lakers was a hard-earned one. Celtic Ray Allen was poked in the left eye in the second quarter of Game 6, and Pierce was carried off the court by his teammates after suffering a knee injury during Game 1.
"We had bumps along the road. There was frustration," Allen said. "But we always came back to each other as a team, and to finally win this and to prove we're the best team in the NBA this year, everything we went through was definitely worth it. We know exactly what it takes to be the best."
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