June 17th Proves Sweet for Celtics and Lakers

June 17th Proves Sweet for Celtics and Lakers

In 2008 and 2010, the NBA’s greatest rivalry was renewed as the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers met for the 11th and 12th time in the NBA Finals.  The Celtics had won 8 of their 10 prior meetings.

Both series ended on June 17th, with the Celtics winning their 17th Championship with a dominating rout in Game 6 of the 2008 Finals and the Lakers winning their 16th Championship coming from behind 3-2 to win a classic Game 7 in 2010.

2008: Sweet 17 and Return for Glory for Celtics

The Celtics were making their first NBA Finals appearance since a six-game loss to the Lakers in 1987. Over the next 20 years the Celtics would suffer through several lean years, not making the playoffs in nine of those years. Following the departures of Larry Bird and Kevin McHale the Celtics suffered through several tragedies such as the passing of Reggie Lewis in 1993, a franchise-worst 15-win 1996–97 season, the ill-fated hiring of head coach Rick Pitino, and the deaths of franchise patriarch Red Auerbach and former player Dennis Johnson that culminated in a 24-win 2006–07 season, highlighted by a franchise-worst 18 straight losses. But hope was on the horizon.

The 2007 off-season saw Celtics GM Danny Ainge acquire Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to join franchise star Paul Pierce. The newly formed ‘Big Three’ led the Celtics to a dramatic 42-game turnaround, finishing with 66 wins. In the playoffs the Celtics were pushed to the brink by the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers, and despite not winning on the road, they managed to prevail in a pair of Game 7s on their home court. The Celtics would finally break their road woes in a six-game win against the perennial Eastern Conference powerhouse Detroit Pistons, earning their first finals berth since 1987.

Game Date Home Team Result Road Team
Game 1 Thursday, June 5 Boston Celtics 98-88 (1-0) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 2 Sunday, June 8 Boston Celtics 108-102 (2-0) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 3 Tuesday, June 10 Los Angeles Lakers 87-81 (1-2) Boston Celtics
Game 4 Thursday, June 12 Los Angeles Lakers 91-97 (1-3) Boston Celtics
Game 5 Sunday, June 15 Los Angeles Lakers 103–98 (3-2) Boston Celtics
Game 6 Tuesday, June 17 Boston Celtics 131-92 (4-2) Los Angeles Lakers
***
Player Age TRB AST PTS
Ray Allen 32 3.7 3.1 17.4
Paul Pierce 30 5.1 4.5 19.6
Kevin Garnett 31 9.2 3.4 18.8
Rajon Rondo 21 4.2 5.1 10.6
James Posey 31 4.4 1.5 7.4
Kendrick Perkins 23 6.1 1.1 6.9
Eddie House 29 2.1 1.9 7.5
Tony Allen 26 2.2 1.5 6.6
Sam Cassell 38 1.8 2.1 7.6
Leon Powe 24 4.1 0.3 7.9
Glen Davis 22 3.0 0.4 4.5
P.J. Brown 38 3.8 0.6 2.2
Brian Scalabrine 29 1.6 0.8 1.8
Scot Pollard 32 1.7 0.1 1.8
Gabe Pruitt 21 0.5 0.9 2.1
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/17/2015.

2010: Sweet 16 and Back-to-Back Titles for Lakers

From Wikipedia:

As the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, they eliminated the No. 8 seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in six games during the Western Conference First Round Playoffs, with the final game ending whenKobe Bryant missed a jumper but Pau Gasol grabbed the offensive rebound and made a layup to clinch the win. Then in the Western Conference Semifinals, Los Angeles swept the Utah Jazz in four games, earning their right to play in their third straight Western Conference Final. In the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Suns, the Lakers won both of their first two games at home, but proceeded to lose the next two in Phoenix both by 9 points. In Game 5, Ron Artest made an off balance layup to beat the buzzer off a Kobe Bryant miss to give the Lakers the victory. The Lakers then proceeded to beat the Suns on their home floor in Game 6 led by Kobe Bryant’s 37 points. The Game 6 victory gave the Lakers their 31st NBA Finals appearance in franchise history. The team also earned their third straight appearance in the Finals, the last team to do so being the Los Angeles Lakers themselves (during the three-peat of 20002002)

Game Date Home Team Result Road Team
Game 1 Thursday, June 3 Los Angeles Lakers 102–89 (1–0) Boston Celtics
Game 2 Sunday, June 6 Los Angeles Lakers 94–103 (1–1) Boston Celtics
Game 3 Tuesday, June 8 Boston Celtics 84–91 (1–2) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 4 Thursday, June 10 Boston Celtics 96–89 (2–2) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 5 Sunday, June 13 Boston Celtics 92–86 (3–2) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 6 Tuesday, June 15 Los Angeles Lakers 89–67 (3–3) Boston Celtics
Game 7 Thursday, June 17 Los Angeles Lakers 83–79 (4–3) Boston Celtics
***
Player Age TRB AST PTS
Kobe Bryant 31 5.4 5.0 27.0
Pau Gasol 29 11.3 3.4 18.3
Metta World Peace 30 4.3 3.0 11.0
Lamar Odom 30 9.8 3.3 10.8
Andrew Bynum 22 8.3 1.0 15.0
Derek Fisher 35 2.1 2.5 7.5
Shannon Brown 24 2.2 1.3 8.1
Jordan Farmar 23 1.6 1.5 7.2
Luke Walton 29 1.3 1.4 2.4
Josh Powell 27 1.8 0.6 2.7
Sasha Vujacic 25 1.2 0.6 2.8
Adam Morrison 25 1.0 0.6 2.4
Didier Ilunga-Mbenga 29 1.8 0.2 2.1
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/17/2015.
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