Celtics' 39-point margin sets record for clincher Print
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Tuesday, 17 June 2008 23:43
NBA Headline News

 BOSTON (AP) -The Celtics' 39-point margin in Tuesday night's championship clinching win is the largest in a decisive NBA finals game.
In fact, Boston now has four of the six biggest margins in games that clinched titles. The Lakers have the other two in championships won while they were in Minneapolis. The previous biggest winning margin in such games was 33 points by Boston on April 25, 1965, when it beat the Los Angeles Lakers 129-96.
On Tuesday night, the Celtics trounced the Lakers 131-92 to take the series 4-2.
Ray Allen set a record for most 3-pointers made in a finals series with 22. The previous mark of 17 was set by Dan Majerle with Phoenix in 1993 and matched by Derek Harper with New York in 1994. Allen's seven 3-pointers Tuesday night tied the finals record shared by Houston's Kenny Smith and Chicago's Scottie Pippen.
And Boston's 52 baskets from 3-point range erased the finals mark of 51 set by San Antonio in 2005.
The Celtics also put on a record-setting defensive performance Tuesday with 18 steals, eclipsing the single-game finals mark set by Golden State against Washington in 1975.
The Lakers put their own stamp on the record book, despite being crushed in the decisive game. League MVP Kobe Bryant's 16 steals in the series tied the mark held by some pretty special players - Julius Erving, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Dwyane Wade.
And Boston broke its own NBA record for most championships with 17. The Lakers are second with 14.
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ROLLING ALONG:For the second time in less than eight months, Boston will be the scene of a rolling rally to honor a championship team.
The Celtics' celebration in which players ride in World War-II style duck boats - tourist vehicles that can travel on land and in water - is scheduled for Thursday morning. On Oct. 30, the Red Sox made a similar journey after completing a four-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies in the World Series.
The rolling rally was first used in 2004, when the Red Sox ended a championship drought of 86 years. In that celebration, the duck boats traveled by land to the Charles River, where they took to the water so fans on the Boston and Cambridge sides could see the players.
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ROLLING RAJON:Young point guard Rajon Rondo played so poorly in Game 5 of the NBA finals that Celtics coach Doc Rivers used him for just 14 1/2 minutes. That all changed in Game 6.
Rondo was hesitant to shoot in Sunday night's Game 5 loss in Los Angeles. He even passed up an easy layup to throw the ball out for a longer shot that missed. Rondo hit one of seven shots and, Rivers said, was ``just not playing well.''
The speedy second-year starter came of age on Tuesday night with a brilliant all-around game that helped Boston win its 17th NBA championship with a 131-92 victory over the Lakers.
His line: 21 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, six steals.
And there's more: Rondo had just one turnover in 31 minutes. And the reluctant shooter fired the ball up 20 times, more than any of his teammates.
Pretty amazing, especially since he hurt his left ankle early in the third quarter of Game 3 - a Celtics loss - and spent most of the second half of that game on the bench. But Rivers knew how important he was to the team.
``He's the one pure point guard on our team that has the ability to make plays, and that's what we would lose'' if Rondo didn't play in Game 4, Rivers said.
But he played in that game and again in Game 5. He saved his best for the clincher.
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS:General Mills plans to issue a special-edition commemorative package honoring the NBA champion Boston Celtics.
The Minnesota cereal maker says the 15.6-ounce Celtics Wheaties box will be available nationally beginning in the next three weeks. It features Boston's 11-time NBA All-Star Kevin Garnett.
This package marks the third Wheaties box appearance for Garnett, who used to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the fourth Wheaties box appearance for the Celtics.
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ONE VERY HAPPY BABY: Glen Davis made his first appearance in the NBA finals on Tuesday night. He finally got his chance to do what so many other Celtics reserves did - contribute to a win.
And this was Boston's biggest victory in 22 years, since their last NBA title in 1986.
Beefy ``Big Baby'' didn't play in the first five games but was on the floor for almost eight minutes in the second quarter Tuesday night when Boston opened up a big lead over the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 289-pound rookie with the easy smile went in for P.J. Brown with the Celtics leading 24-20 with 11:17 left in the second quarter. By the time Davis was replaced by Kendrick Perkins 3:37 before intermission, the lead was up to 47-34 - a 13-point bulge that never got smaller. Davis finished the game with three points and four rebounds in 15 minutes.
The bench made big contributions in the other Celtics wins against the Lakers. Sam Cassell had eight points in the 98-88 Game 1 win, Leon Powe scored 21 in Boston's 108-102 win in Game 2. And James Posey scored 18 and Eddie House 11 when Boston won in Los Angeles 97-91 to go up 3-1 in the series.
Davis was drafted by Seattle, but his rights were included in the deal on draft night that also sent Ray Allen to the Celtics.
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FLYING, FINALLY: The Boston Celtics needed three airplanes to get back from Los Angeles, and that's smelling a little fishy to coach Doc Rivers.
The Celtics were supposed to leave around 11 a.m. Monday, but they didn't take off until close to 3 p.m., and didn't land until 10:30 p.m. Asked about the travel problems, Rivers pointed a sarcastic finger squarely at Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and coach Phil Jackson.
``Why don't you call Mitch Kupchak and Phil? They'll probably tell you exactly what happened,'' Rivers said to laughter. ``It was a long day, it really was.''
When they played in the original Boston Garden, opponents used to complain that savvy Celtics patriarch Red Auerbach would turn off the air conditioning or the hot water in the visiting locker room. Although he maintained that the problems were the same for both sides - the old building didn't even have air conditioning - Auerbach loved the fact that it was getting to the other team.
Maybe it's payback time.
The original Celtics plane had a cracked windshield, so they were put on another one. After pushing back from the gate, the second plane developed mechanical problems so they had to come back.
``We had to unfortunately pull people off that one,'' Rivers said. ``And when we get there at the gate, we see the Laker plane taking off, and I was saying, 'Oh, this is nice.'''
Rivers said they sat on the plane for three to four hours before taking off.
Celtics rookie Gabe Pruitt, who said the team wound up on a plane that usually flies the Oakland Athletics, was also suspicious.
``Two planes?'' he said. ``What are the chances of that happening?''
Pruitt said he slept much of the time, while hurt players such as Paul Pierce and Kendrick Perkins received treatment for their injuries.
 

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