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BREAKING NBA FINALS 11:15pm Celtics Hold-On: Down Lakers 108-102; Boston 2-0 In Series
Monday, Jun 09, 2008 8:14am

BOSTON, MA From ESPN (By: Tom Pace, Talk of the Town) BREAKING NBA FINALS GAME 2  11:15pm 6-8-08:  The Boston Celtics breathed a sigh of relief, as the buzzer finally ended Game 2 of the NBA Finals.  At one point, the Celts led by as many as B24 points, but then the Lakers clawed their way back down the stretch, coming to within 6 points of the win.  The Celtics are now two wins from another NBA championship.

ESPN tells it this way: The Celtics had to work every second to get the win.
The Lakers trailed by 24 with less than 8 minutes to go, but pulled to 104-102 on two free throws by Bryant with 38.4 seconds left.

But Boston's Pierce made two free throws, then blocked a jumper by Sasha Vujacic, and James Posey made two free throws with 12.6 seconds left to ice it for the Celtics. 

"I think we got kind of complacent with the lead," Pierce said. "We weren't staying aggressive. We let them pick up their pressure. We stopped guarding. We got to take a lesson from this fourth quarter to keep playing regardless of the score and finish the game."

Pierce wasn't slowed by a sprained right knee suffered in the series opener, when he was carried from the court and plopped into a wheelchair. The Boston captain paced the Celtics, who are back in the Finals for the first since 1987, when Larry Bird was the main man and gasoline cost 91 cents per gallon.

As usual, Boston's Big Three -- Pierce, Ray Allen (17 points) and Kevin Garnett (17) -- were the ringleaders but Powe, a second-year reserve had the game of his career, adding his 21 points in 15 minutes that may make him a Celtics fan-favorite for life.

Powe, who played a total of 68 seconds during one stretch of 13 games during the season, scored six points to close a 15-2 run ending the third quarter that gave the Celtics a 22-point lead, a burst had the Lakers California dreaming. At one point in the fourth quarter, Boston fans discarded the familiar chants of "Beat L.A." for cries of "Le-on Powe!"

Rajon Rondo had 16 assists and Garnett added 14 rebounds for the Celtics, back in the finals for the first time since 1987.


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