The Finals, Game 7: With a little help from his friends…

Kobe Bryant played a miserable offensive game, going just 6-of-24 from the field, 0-for-6 from long range and turning the ball over four times. But the rest of the Lakers stepped up. Whether it was Pau Gasol’s travel layup with 1:30 to play, Ron Artest’s timely three-pointer with 1:00 remaining or Sasha Vujacic’s clutch free throws to seal the game with 0:11 to play, Kobe’s supporting cast came through when they needed to.

Lakers win, 83-79.

Kobe finished with 23-15-2, which looks pretty good until you realize that he missed 18 shots and forced some terrible attempts. Gasol added a gritty 19-18, and had nine of the Lakers’ TWENTY-THREE offensive rebounds. (The L.A. absolutely pounded the C’s on the glass, which was one area where Boston desperately missed Kendrick Perkins.) Artest had 20-5 and five steals. He wasn’t terribly efficient offensively, but he hit some important shots and bothered Paul Pierce into 5-of-15 shooting. Artest no longer has to live with the specter of Trevor Ariza circling his entire existence in Los Angeles. In his own weird way, he has truly become a Laker.

For the Celtics, Kevin Garnet (17-3, four blocks) played well offensively (8-of-13), but he just didn’t get it done on the defensive glass. Rajon Rondo (14-8-10) had a very nice game, but wasn’t able to push the ball enough to take it over. Paul Pierce (18-10-2) and Ray Allen (13-2-2) combined to go a dreadful 8-of-29 from the field.

It wasn’t a cleanly played Game 7, but it was tight the whole way and it was one of the best defensive Finals games I’ve ever seen. To put this in perspective, the Lakers shot 32.5% from the field and still won the game…and the title.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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