Video: Five years ago tonight - Celtics erase 24 point lead, stun Lakers to go up 3-1 in 2008 Finals
On June 12th, 2008, five years ago tonight, the Celtics played their most memorable game in the past 25 seasons. At least in my opinion.
Let's flashback, shall we? Game 4 of the 2008 Finals, Boston won the first two games against the Lakers in Boston, but L.A. fought back to win Game 3. The fourth game was huge, the difference between the Celtics putting a stranglehold on the series, and the Lakers tying things up with Game 5 in their barn.
Early on, it looked terrible. Lamar Odom and the Lakers stormed out to a 26-7 lead on their way to a 35-14 cushion after one quarter. Odom poured in 13 points himself during the first 12 minutes, nearly equaling the Celtics by his lonesome. It was the biggest first quarter lead in NBA finals history.
While Boston stemmed the tide in the 2nd, L.A. still held a 70-50 lead with 6:04 remaining in the 3rd quarter. And then it happened. Pierce scored. And then Eddie House. And then Ray Allen, Posey and Allen again. By the time P.J. Brown dunked Kobe into oblivion with 1.7 seconds remaining in the 3rd, it was a 21-3 run for Boston, and a 20 point deficit was cut to 2. Take a look. (Note: go to the 5:17 mark if you don't want to see the Lakers build the lead)
The fourth was more of a back and forth affair, but Boston had seemingly broke the Lakers spirits. Ray Allen delivered the final blow with this remarkable move to the basket with just 16 seconds left.
The Celtics had stunned the Lakers, and guaranteed themselves at least a 3-2 lead coming back to Boston. Following a Game 5 loss, the Celtics closed out the Lakers in Game 6, winning their first title since 1986.
While it's possible that the Celtics could have lost Games 4 & 5 and then won both back home for the title, I've always believed that they needed one game in L.A. The comeback made that happen, and put the C's on the verge of immortality.
We've been lucky to have a ton of memorable games during the 'Big 3 + Rondo' era, but this one will always be my favorite.
Bonus video: Video recap of game, awesome Pierce, "ONE MORE!" quote at the end.
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