The 2010 NBA Finals — Lakers and Celtics


By Ron Griffitts

Contributing columnist

In June 2010, the Los Angeles Lakers (57-25) coached by Phil Jackson with executive Mitch Kupchak met the Boston Celtics (50-32) coached by Doc Rivers and had as their executive Danny Ainge in a rematch of the 2008 finals.

The Lakers dispatched the Oklahoma City Thunder (4-2), Utah Jazz (4-0) and the Phoenix Suns (3-2) for the right to face the Celtics in the finals.

They were led by perennial all-star Kobe Bryant (27.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 5.0 apg), Pau Gasol (18.3 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 3.4 apg), Metta World Peace (11.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg), Lamar Odom (10.8 ppg, 9.8 rpg) and Andrew Bynum (15.0 ppg, 8.3 rpg).

The Celtics got past the Miami Heat (4-1), the Cleveland Cavaliers (4-2) and the Orlando Magic (4-2) to get to the finals and were led by Rajon Rondo (13.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 9.8 rpg), Ray Allen (16.3 ppg, ), Paul Pierce (18.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg), Kevin Garnett (14.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Kendrick Perkins (10.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg).

Game one was in the Staples Center in LA. The Lakers got off to a 26-21 first quarter lead and outscored the Celtics in the second and third quarters for a 102-99 win.

They were led by Kobe Bryant with 30 points and Pau Gasol with 23 points and 14 rebounds, while Paul Pierce led Boston with 23 points.

The Celtics responded in game two with strong first and fourth quarters to come away with a 103-94 win to tie up the series at a game each. Ray Allen scored 32 points, Rajon Rondo added 19 and had 12 rebounds and 10 assists. For Los Angeles, Pau Gasol had 25 points and Kobe Bryant added 21 as did Andrew Bynum.

For game three, the teams switched to the east coast to TD Garden in Boston and the Lakers increased their defensive pressure for a 91-84 win to take a one game series lead.

Kobe Bryant had 29 points and Pau Gasol and Andres Bynum each pulled down 10 rebounds while Kevin Garnett lead the Celtics with 25 points and Kendrick Perkins had 11 rebounds.

Game four was a close game with the Lakers leading 62-60 after three quarters but the Celts went on a 36-27 fourth quarter run to win the game 96-89 and tie the series at two games each.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 33 points and Pau Gasol added 21 while Boston featured a balanced scoring with Paul Pierce getting 19 points and Glen Davis contributing 18 off the bench.

Game five, still in Boston, had the Celtics keep up their pressure as in spite of 38 points by Kobe Bryant and 12 rebounds by Pau Gasol the Lakers lost 92-86 as the Celtics edged ahead in the series three games to two.

For Boston, Paul Pierce had 27 points and Kevin Garnett added 18 more and pulled down 10 rebounds as the teams switch to LA for game six.

The Lakers responded with a strong defensive effort holding the Celtics to only 67 points as they tied the series at 3-3 with an 89-67 win behind Pau Gasol’s 17 points and 13 rebounds and Kobe Bryant’s 26 points and 11 rebounds. Ray Allen led Boston with 19 points.

In game seven after the Celtics took a 23-14 first quarter lead, Los Angeles chipped away at the Celtic lead and came away with an 83-79 win for the game and their 16th NBA title.

They out rebounded Boston 53-40 with Kobe Brant garnering 15 rebounds as well as 23 points, ten of which were in the fourth quarter. Pau Gasol had 19 points and 18 rebounds and Metta World Peace had 20 points for LA while Paul Pierce had 19 for the Celtics.

Kobe Bryant got his second consecutive series MVP award and the Lakers were back in 2020 and the Celtics returned to the finals in 2022.

The victory over the Celtics was sweet for the Lakers as dating back to the 1950’s Boston won their first eight NBA finals’ meetings before the Lakers finally defeated the Celtics in 1985.

Statistics for this article were from basketball

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