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Banner Night in Boston as Celtics Rout Lakers

Howard Beck New York Times 18.06.2008 02:20
The Celtics celebrate after defeating the Lakers to win the N.B.A. championship in Boston on Tuesday. Mike Segar/Reuters

The Celtics celebrate after defeating the Lakers to win the N.B.A. championship in Boston on Tuesday. Mike Segar/Reuters


BOSTON — A championship waited to be claimed Tuesday night, if only the Boston Celtics could fight through exhaustion, attrition and whatever Kobe Bryant unleashed upon them.



Over 48 hours, the Celtics had endured a sobering defeat, a delayed flight and a sick child, all layered on top of the accumulated aches from a long playoff run and a taut five games in the N.B.A. finals.

By appearances, the least stressful thing they did was methodically dissect the Los Angeles Lakers and finish off a history-making season.

With chants of “Seventeen!” filling the air at TD Banknorth Garden, the Celtics routed the Lakers, 131-92, and ended a 22-year title drought with a six-game finals victory. Sixteen green-and-white banners will soon have company in the rafters.

Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce — three titans of their era, all flush with talent but lacking in gratification — will soon have their first championship rings. So will Coach Doc Rivers, who deftly blended the stars’ talents and got the most from a supporting cast that was at times either too young, too old or too untalented.


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