NBA FINALS: Celts' Big Three Adds Up to Close Win
Things were looking grim for the Celtics when their big shooter Paul Pierce was carried to the locker room for a sprained right knee. However, minutes later he ran back out onto the court, scoring 15 of his 22 points in that quarter.
It was the first finals matchup between these two titans in 21 years, and things are hot for Game 2 on Sunday night.
Paul Pierce provided the inspiration, the Willis Reed moment and the big shots to back it up. Kobe Bryant's three rings, and Phil Jacksons nine, were of no use against the least heralded member of the Celtics' Big Three.
Pierce appeared finished for the night - and perhaps even the series - when he was carted off the floor with a sprained right knee and wheeled into the locker room midway through the third quarter. He ran back out of the tunnel moments later, no longer limping but carrying the Celtics' title hopes with him.
With 15 of his 22 points in the third quarter, Pierce carried the Celtics to an emotional, 98-88 victory over the Lakers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals last night. The first Finals matchup between these old rivals in 21 years lived up to the hype and the history, with even more drama coming in Game 2 Sunday night.
Paul Pierce came Boston's rescue in the third quarter of Game One of the NBA Finals on Thursday night despite a sprained knee, according to The Providence Journal.
"We saw him being carried off and we didn't know what the situation was," Kevin Garnett said. "We kept asking, was he all right? Doc was trying to get us back to the huddle. One thing we know about P is he's very tough and we've seen him play through numerous injuries throughout the season."
Local troubadour James Taylor welcomed his hometown team back to the NBA finals on Thursday night, singing the national anthem before Game 1 of the Boston Celtics' championship series against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Actors Bruce Willis and Leonardo DiCaprio, who have made the TD Banknorth Garden a second home wile filming movies in town, were also in the star-studded crowd. So were ''Grey's Anatomy'' star Ellen Pompeo and Chris Tucker of the ''Rush Hour'' movies.
The court was ringed by members of the New England Patriots - including Randy Moss, Richard Seymour and Rodney Harrison - and Celtics and Lakers alumni from Bill Russell and John Havlicek to Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.