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Published on Jun 18, 2010
Lakers go Back to Back!!!!!!!!
Lakers: 83 Celtics: 79
A Game 7 classic—and this time, it finally went the Lakers' way.
Bryant, the finals MVP, scored 23 points despite 6-of-24 shooting, and the Lakers won their 16th NBA championship Thursday night, dramatically rallying from a fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Celtics 83-79 in Game 7 of the NBA finals.
Bryant earned his fifth title with the Lakers, who repeated as NBA champions for the first time since winning three straight from 2000-02. Coach Phil Jackson added his 11th, matching Russell's total and possibly putting a cap on his remarkable career if he decides to leave the Lakers.
"This one is by far the sweetest, because it's them," Bryant said after the Lakers beat Boston for the first time in a Game 7. "This was the hardest one by far. I wanted it so bad, and sometimes when you want it so bad, it slips away from you. My guys picked me up."
Ron Artest(notes) added 20 points for the Lakers, who didn't exactly show a champion's poise while making just 21 shots in the first three quarters, even hovering around 50 percent at the free throw line. Los Angeles finished with just 32.5 percent shooting.
Yet with Bryant driving the lane to earn eight free throws and Pau Gasol(notes) finally coming alive with nine of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, Los Angeles reclaimed the lead midway through and hung on with a few more big shots from Gasol, who had 18 rebounds, and a remarkable clutch performance by Artest, a first-time champion as the only newcomer to last season's roster.
"I had 20 points, and I still think we did this as a team," Artest said. "We fought together. This was one of the best games in, I don't even know, man. I don't want to be in a game like this, where the game can go either way. ... I'm just like, OK, what did I get myself into?"
He might be into a budding dynasty, with most of the Lakers' core locked into long-term contracts. With their fifth title in 11 seasons, the Lakers moved one championship behind Boston's 17 titles for the overall NBA lead.