For the 17th time in franchise history, the Boston Celtics are NBA Champions.
The 2008 Celtics brought an end to their storied franchise's 21-year championship drought with the most lopsided closeout win in NBA Finals history on Tuesday night, blowing out the Lakers, 131-92. Leading just 32-29 midway through the second quarter, the Celtics scored 11 straight points and finished the half on on a 26-6 run.
In the second half, Boston's 58-35 halftime lead only grew. Clearly, the Celtics had had enough close games.
Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett each scored a game-high 26 points and Rajon Rondo added 20 as the Celtics came up just three points shy of the NBA Finals record for largest margin of victory.
Ray Allen tied an NBA Finals record for 3-pointers made in a single game with seven, and set a new Finals record for 3-pointers made in a series, with 22. Garnett was superb on the boards, pulling down a game-high 14 rebounds for Boston, but it was Rondo who finished with the most astounding stat line in addition to his 20 points: eight assists, seven rebounds and six steals.
The Celtics' historic margin of victory in Game 6 was due in large part to their magnificent defense, which set an NBA Finals record with 18 steals, breaking the previous record of 17.
After the game, Paul Pierce was named Finals MVP. He had a modest outing in Game 6, but stood out plenty in the previous five games to deserve the honor. Pierce averaged 21.8 points and 6.3 assists per game as he, Garnett and Allen captured the first NBA titles of their long, accomplished, respective careers.