LOS ANGELES (AP) -Paul Pierce looked up at the scoreboard and flexed his arms in triumph.
The Boston Celtics had erased an unprecedented deficit and beaten the Los Angeles Lakers 97-91 in Game 4 of the NBA finals Thursday night, moving one victory from their 17th league championship.
The longest-tenured member of the Celtics, Pierce lived through two failed rebuilding efforts before last season's overhaul that teamed him with fellow All-Stars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in a modern-day Big Three.
Now they have a chance to win a title - Boston's first since the original Big Three of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish.
Pierce scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half, when the Celtics erased most of a 24-point deficit. Garnett had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Allen had 19 points and nine rebounds, and reserve Eddie House scored 11 points, including a baseline jumper with 4:07 left to give Boston its first lead of the game, 84-83.

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