The Celtics celebrated early after leading by 24 points in the fourth quarter but never knew what hit them as the Lakers, who came back to win two games against the Spurs, patiently nursed the Boston lead until they were ready to close them out. Unfortunately, Sasha Vujacic missed what would have been a momentum turning three pointer in the last 12 seconds to give the victory to the Celtics.
Here is a side snide. Since the NBA went to the current playoff format in 1984, the Game 1 winner has won 17 of the 24 Finals series played (Lakers have twice been the exception in 1988 and 2001). The last time a Game 1 winner failed to go on and become champion was during the 2006 NBA Finals when the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in Games 1 and 2 before losing the series in six games. Including the 2006 Heat, only three teams in league history have come back from 0-2 deficits to win the NBA Finals: Boston in 1969, Portland in 1977 and Miami in 2006. The Lakers are 2-14 all-time when losing both Games 1 and 2 of a best-of-seven series (any round), defeating the San Antonio Spurs in the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals in six games after losing Games 1 and 2 and defeating the San Francisco Warriors in the 1969 Western Division Semifinals in six games after losing Games 1 and 2.
Now the series gets even more exciting as it shifts to the