It had the makings of a classic matchup – old school rivals in a game that would leave one team champion. The Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics did not disappoint.
On Thursday night the Lakers, down early to the Celtics, rallied in the fourth period – outscoring Boston 30-22 – and pulling out a thrilling 83-79 victory. The Lakers won their 16th NBA championship, including their second in a row.
Kobe Bryant scored 23 points and was named the series MVP. It is Bryant’s fifth title with the Lakers. Coach Phil Jackson added his 11th, matching Bill Russell’s total and possibly putting a cap on his remarkable career if he decides to retire or leave the Lakers for another team.
The game appeared to be under control early by Boston, as the Celtics led by as many as 13 points. It ended a remarkable run for the Celtics, who struggled with injuries during the regular season, only to pick up their game once the playoffs began – including beating LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers.
MVP Bryant was looking beyond this year, when, hoisting up the MVP trophy, said, “Let’s go for it again.”