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Game 7 was an epic game filled with defensive battles, with the Lakers winning 83-79.

LA became the seventh team ever to face a 3-2 deficit in the Finals to come back to win the final two games. They have now won five titles in the past 11 seasons.

Phil Jackson is now 48-0 when his team wins Game 1 of a playoff series and has won a record 11 titles as a Head Coach.

Key reasons:

1) Defense: The Celtics limited LA to score 34 in the first half but they managed to score 40. Derek Fisher was the only player to shoot over 50 percent from the field (4-6).core 40. They gave the Lakers fits on defense by rotating and switching well.

However, allowing 23 offensive rebounds, committing 15 turnovers and sending the Lakers to the line 37 times overshadows the defensive effort.

Ray Allen and Paul Pierce shot a combined 8-29. The 33 percent Pierce shot from the field was his second lowest total for the Finals. Boston also allowed 30 points in the fourth quarter.

2) Rebounding differential: Gasol had 9 offensive rebounds which was more than the entire Celtics team (8). He pulled down 15 more rebounds than KG (18-3).

With the Lakers up three with 30 seconds left his offensive rebound proved crucial.

The Lakers had six more rebounds in the third quarter which helped narrow the lead to four points going into the final quarter.

LA pulled down 13 more rebounds (53-40) and 15 more offensive rebounds (23-8). The length and persistence made it hard for the Celtics to battle down low. The team to win the rebounding edge won each game during the finals.

“I thought the lack of size was the difference in the game,” Rivers said.

3) Pau Gasol:

“I can’t say enough about that Spaniard,” Bryant said as he was receiving the Finals MVP trophy. “That guy is unbelievable and just a hell of a player. We wouldn’t have won it without him.”

With Kendrick Perkins out for Game 7 it allowed Gasol to be more of a force and catalyst in the pain. He finished with 19 points, 18 rebounds, four assists and two blocks.

His toughness shined last night as he was very active on the glass and absorbed plenty of contact. His  left arm was full of cuts and blood.

Despite missing six free throws he converted several tough shots and made key free throws down the stretch to preserve the victory. His clutch shot gave the Lakers a 76-70 lead with 1:30 left.

4) Ron Artest: Scoring 12 of his 20 points in the second quarter kept the game close at halftime. His three-point play tied the game with 7:28 left in the fourth quarter. His key three-pointer gave the Lakers a 79-73 lead with 1:03 left.

Once again Artest played stifling defense on Pierce limiting him to 33 percent shooting. For the second straight game he outscored Pierce and also chipped in five steals.

“Ron Artest was the most valuable player tonight,” Jackson said. “He brought life to our team, he brought life to the crowd.

5) Kobe Bryant and the last six minutes of the game: He missed 18 shots but still finished with a game-high 23 points including 10 points in the fourth quarter (8-9 from the foul line).The 15 rebounds was the most he has had in a game since January 24th (16). The “best closer” in the game has won back to back Finals MVP and has 5 rings.

In the final six minutes of the game the Celtics shot 5-13 from the field and attempted two free throws. The Lakers shot 3-6 from the field and converted 12 of 14 free throws.

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