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Queensbridge duo leads Lakers to the NBA championship

06/18/2010

There is a difference between a star and a superstar. A superstar wants the ball in the last seconds with the game on the line. Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant understand that. This is why they are the go to players for their teams. Bryant has been the headliner for the Los Angeles Lakers almost from the time he entered the NBA. The Boston Celtics go as Paul Pierce does.

With the Lakers hanging on to a four point lead with 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Bryant called for the ball, took it to the basket, was fouled and made both free throws. Pierce got the ball off an inbound pass with 11 seconds remaining and instead of turning around and shooting a contested three pointer he passed it off to Rajon Rondo, a mediocre outside shooter who seconds earlier made a three-point shot.

Bryant finished the game with 23 points and 15 rebounds and his fifth championship ring en route to a 83-79 win in front of a sellout Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The Black Mamba’s game resembled John Starks in game seven of the 94 Finals but thankfully for him Queensbridge was in the house.

Ron Artest was the leading scorer the first three quarters of the game and finished with 20 points, 5 rebounds and 4 steals and Lamar Odom added 10 points, most of which came in the third quarter to keep Los Angeles within reach.

“Artest was unbelievable,” Boston coach Don Rivers said.  The three Artest made, you think about some of the shots they made, late clock, three by Artest, Fisher’s rainbow over Rondo, and then again the foul call on Ray, that’s nine points. They scored 30 points in the fourth quarter, and for us, a defensive group, that’s the toughest part to swallow, that we gave up 30 points. We scored 22, but we gave up 30.”

The Celtics seemed to run out of gas in the fourth quarter. The energy they played with in the first half disappeared when the Lakers intensified their defense in the second half. They played great defense but could not keep up with the Lakers offensively.

Boston outscored the Lakers in first quarter but that was it.

This is the 17th championship for Los Angeles putting them one behind Boston all time. Bryant downplayed this meaning something to his legacy but he has further distanced himself from his counterparts as the leagues number one winner.

“It was the most physical one,” Bryant said. They believed that they could beat us. Obviously what happened in ’08. But the physicality of their team, how smart they are, extremely well coached, and guys made big shots. It was tough. They weren’t going to beat themselves, we had to beat them.”

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