The final game of the 2010 NBA Finals was defined by defense. Both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics put on a display of effort and ball-stopping for the ages. The offense however was stagnant on both sides until the 4th quarter.
With their starting center, Kendrick Perkins, out for the game, the Celtics came out hot. They ended the 1st quarter up 23-14 despite getting pounded on the boards. The Lakers were especially proficient on the offensive glass, but couldn't hit a shot from the field or the line in the 1st. Every team leading the after one quarter had won every game in the series. The Lakers stormed back to take the lead early in the 2nd quarter. The Celtics weathered the onslaught and finished the first half with a six-point lead.
The Celtics maintained the lead through the 3rd. At one point, the game almost got away from the Lakers, but the Boston lead was only 4 heading into the final quarter of the season. In the 4th, basketball was played at its highest level. After hurting himself doing the involuntary splits, Derek Fisher hit a three to tie the game. That sparked the Lakers. Kobe, even though he shot on 6-24 from the field, hit a couple of free throws and then nailed a jumper. Kobe finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds.
Ron Artest, who had his best game as a pro, scoring 20 points and swiping 5 steals, swished a key three. He added great defense against Paul Pierce, who still had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Ray Allen swished a big three, despite shooting terribly all game. Rajon Rondo ran down a missed Celtics shot and hit an amazing three to keep the Celtics in the game. Los Angeles missed 12 free throws, but hit them when it counted the most.
Every Boston started scored in double figures. Rondo was 2 rebounds away from a triple double. Four Celtics had at least 8 rebounds. For the Lakers, Gasol had trouble shooting, but still came away with 19 points and 18 rebounds. It was an extremely intense game and a memorable 4th quarter. The Lakers won the game 83-79, the series 4-3, and their second consecutive championship.
MVP- Kobe Bryant LAL
Gutcheck Award- Andrew Bynum LAL
Unsung Hero- Big Baby Davis Bos
There are so many good players in the NBA right now. Many of them are free agents this summer. Depending on where they go, the balance of power in the NBA could be turned upside-down. The jury is out as to whether that will be good for the league or not.