• Kurtis Tatkenhorst

June 17- Boston Celtics win the 2008 NBA Title

2008- On this day in Sports History, the Boston Celtics won the 2008 NBA Title over the Los Angeles Lakers. They did so by blowing out the Lakers in Game 6 131-92 to clinch the title. The 39 point win differential is the second most in a NBA Finals game. The Celtics outscored the Lakers 34-15 in the second quarter to break open the game and gave them a 23 point lead going into halftime. The Celtics then scored 42 points in the 4th quarter to finish out the dominating win. Four different players scored 17 or more points for the Celtics in the win. Kevin Garnett led the way with 26 points and 14 rebounds. Ray Allen also scored 26 points, which included 7 three pointers. Rajon Rondo had a great stat line with 21 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, and 6 steals. Paul Pierce scored 17 points and had 10 assists in the game. The Lakers were led by Kobe Bryant with 22 points in the loss.

Barry Chin/Boston Globe Staff

The Boston Celtics finished the 2007 season 24-58. Although they finished last place the previous season, the Celtics entered the 2008 season as one of the favorites to win the title. That is because they acquired Kevin Garnett (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Ray Allen (Seattle Supersonics), in two trades over the offseason. With these two new additions to the team, Paul Pierce and the Celtics had a Big Three that instantly made them one of the best teams in the league.

The Celtics and the Lakers were each the #1 seeds in the 2008 NBA Playoffs. However, being the top seed did not allow the Celtics to cruise to the Finals. The Atlanta Hawks took the Celtics to a Game 7 in the first round. In the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Cleveland Cavaliers took the Celtics to another Game 7. The Celtics then beat the Detroit Pistons in 6 games in the Eastern Conference Finals to make the 2008 NBA Finals. The Celtics lost eight games in the first three rounds of the playoffs, while the Lakers only lost three.

This was the 20th NBA Finals appearance for the Celtics, but their first one since 1987. The NBA Finals began with the Celtics winning the first two games of the series. They then went on to win Game 4 and Game 6 to win the title. Paul Pierce was named NBA Finals MVP. He averaged 21.8 points and 6.3 assists a game in the Finals. The 2008 NBA Title was the Celtics 17th NBA title which is the most of any NBA franchise.

The Game 6 win that clinched the Boston Celtics 2008 NBA Title was the second biggest win differential in a NBA Finals game in history. The 39 point (131-92) Celtics win only trails a 42 point (96-54) Chicago Bulls win over the Utah Jazz in the 1998 NBA Finals. Although it is the most lopsided win that clinched an NBA Title.


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Sources:

Staff, NBA.com. “Legendary Moments In NBA History: Boston Celtics Defeat Los Angeles Lakers for 2008 Championship.” NBA History, NBA, 17 June 2018

“2008 NBA Finals - Lakers vs. Celtics.” Basketball Reference


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