Thursday, June 17: Chalk up an 16th title for the Los Angeles Lakers franchise, the 11th title for Head Coach Phil Jackson, the 5th title for Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, and one memorable NBA Finals. The Lakers topped the Celtics, 83-79, despite one of their poorest shooting performances of the playoffs. The Lakers shot nearly 33-percent from the field, while Boston shot nearly 41-percent. Boston led by six at halftime, but the Lakers stormed back after they found a rythym. Ron Artest hit a 3-pointer, Derek Fisher hit a 3-pointer, and the Lakers were 25-37 from the free throw line. Ron Artest scored 20 points, but Kobe Bryant earned the MVP trophy after scoring 23 points and 15 rebounds. Every Boston player scored in double-figures, led by Paul Pierce's 18 points, but the Celtics only managed 6 bench points. Pau Gasol scored 19 points and 18 rebounds for the Lakers, who win their second consecutive NBA Championship.
Finals MVP Kobe Bryant said afterward, "This is the sweetest, we have been downplaying this series, but we understood the city wanted, by far, this is the sweetest because it is against them, Boston, and it was the hardest one."
"Well, first of all I want to thank everybody in my hood," Ron Artest said in an ABC interview right after the game. "I definitely want to thank my doctors ... my psychiatrist, she really helped me relax a lot."
"Listen, give the Lakers credit," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "They were terrific."