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Friday, June 18, 2010

Celts lose Game 7 of NBA Finals, 83-79 to Lakers

If I told you that the Celtics held the Lakers to 32.5% shooting as a team and Kobe Bryant shot 6-of-24 from the floor in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, you would think Banner 18 is being fitted for the rafters as we speak right?

It wasn't a classic game, especially given the outcome, but in the most hotly-contested game of the series, the Lakers found a way to get it done and came away with the franchise's 16th championship.

Off the top of my head, I can't remember being as proud of a team in defeat. Not to get all Little League parent on you but the Celtics completely maxed out for the last two months in the playoffs and they nearly won another title because of it. There's absolutely no shame in the way they lost even though they went back to LA up 3-2.

I'd love to see the Big Four get one more season to try to win a title with a few key free agent pickups but who knows what'll happen next season? Doc Rivers seems to be out the door, Rasheed Wallace will probably retire and Ray Allen is a free agent. Other than that, it should be a pretty quiet off-season.

Kobe was named Finals MVP (for the second time) but offensively he was awful tonight: he had 23 points but more impressively he had 15 rebounds. Therein lies how the Lakers won a game in which their offense was completely locked down. LA owned the glass, to the tune of a a 53-40 overall rebounding edge (23-8 in offensive boards).

Pau Gasol was a strong second banana with 19 points and 18 rebounds while the ultimate wild card, Ron Artest came through in the biggest game of his life with 20 points and five steals.

With Kendrick Perkins out with a knee injury, Sheed started (11 points, 8 rebounds) and all five Celtics starters were in double figures: Paul Pierce had 18 points, 10 rebounds, KG scored 17 points and blocked four shots, Rajon Rondo nearly had another triple-double with 14 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds while Ray Allen added 13 points but struggled all night with his shot going 3-for-14. Ray gets a pass though since he was the one shutting down Kobe.

The C's were up 23-14 after the first quarter and 40-34 at the half. The Lakers tied it up early in the third quarter like you knew they would but the Celts rallied to go back up by nine and as much as 13. Boston led 57-53 going into the fourth but they couldn't hang on.

Only one bench guy from either team really played and subsequently did anything: Big Baby had six points and nine rebounds while Lamar Odom had seven points and seven rebounds.

The Celtics shot 40.8% from the floor but the Lakers took 20 more free throws and made 10 more of them. It's not worth arguing about that though since the rebound numbers tell you all you need to know, the Lakers earned those trips to the line by going hard inside. Boston had seven more assists (18-11) and four more blocks (7-3).

All I can think is that I feel like one of the players, I'm physically and mentally drained and I couldn't be happier to be getting out of dodge this weekend and going to my cousin's wedding in Upstate NY aka the end of the Earth. It will take plenty more time to fully digest this loss.

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