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Fran Blinebury

Kobe Bryant leads the Lakers to back-to-back championships.
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

24-second thoughts on Game 7

Posted Jun 18 2010 8:52AM

24 -- Who knew the Lakers were superstitious? Christina Aguilera delivered a win with the national anthem in Game 6 and tries to go back-to-back. Now where are those balloons in the rafters? That would have shown real confidence.

23 -- Did you take a good look at Doc Rivers and Phil Jackson during the introduction of the lineups? Both had full game faces on. Which one was taking his last look from that bench and won't be back next season?

22 -- Boards! Boards! Boards! Lakers set the early tone by hitting the Celtics with everything but a 2x4. L.A. gets multiple shots on each of its first four possessions.

21 -- Andrew Bynum is moving well, has 4 shots, 2 points and 2 rebounds in 6 minutes. Can the Lakers really afford to limit him to 10 minutes per half?

20 -- Well, you'd better be rebounding like mad if you're the Lakers when you start out the game shooting just 4-for-17.

19 -- Raise your hand if you thought the game would be 8 1/2 minutes old before the first bucket by Kobe Bryant (1-for-5) or Paul Pierce (0-for-1)?

18 -- Justin Bieber in the middle of a throng of teen-age girls wouldn't be swarmed and smothered like Kobe by the Celtics.

17 -- The team ahead at the end of the first quarter has won every game of the series. Celtics 23-14.

16 -- Of all the people you might have expected to wilt, was Kobe even on your list? His 1-for-7 first quarter might have been his worst 12 minutes of the entire season. He forced shots. He looked desperate.

15 -- What happened to that 10-minute-per-half limit for Bynum's playing time? It's gone up in an early mushroom cloud of desperation. If Phil is walking into the sunset, why does he care if that right legs falls off?

14 -- When Kevin Garnett went crashing through the expensive seats of the three-time Oscar-winner, was that one flying over the cuckoo's nest? Way to bail out, Jack.

13 -- Artest 4-for-9, Kobe 2-for-11. Will ABC have a microphone in that halftime conversation when Ron-Ron tells Kobe to calm down and play under control.

12 -- "Woof! Woof! Hello, I'm Game 7. Maybe in the second half, I'll roll over and let you rub my belly." For historical perspective, all-time lowest scoring Game 7 in Finals history: Minneapolis Lakers 82, NY Knicks 65. That was in 1952, before the shot clock.

11 -- Artest still leading the way to start the second half for Lakers with a game-high 14 points. Hey, you think Trevor Ariza could do this?

10 -- You can only peddle this great defense stuff so far. The Lakers have played most of this game looking like Bambi when she got her first glimpse of headlights.

9 -- Welcome to Starks-ville, Mr. Bryant (3-for-16).

8 -- 'Sheed keeps happening. He's been solid with low-post scoring and done a fine defensive job on Pau Gasol all night as pinch-hitter in the middle Kendrick Perkins.

7 -- Quick! Who finishes with a higher scorertoday -- Tiger Woods or the winner of Game 7?

6 -- End of 3rd, 57-53 Celtics. 12 minutes to determine a champion and save the good name of basketball.

5 -- Who figured before the series began that Ray Allen would be an offensive flop, but turn into the Kobe-Stopper on defense?

4 -- The Grey Mamba -- Derek Fisher -- strikes with another one of those clutch 3-pointers that have defined his career to tie up at 64-all with 6:12 to go.

3 -- Kobe! Finally! Wing jumper felt like the dam just broke. Four-point lead seems like 40.

2 -- Artest nails 3 and blows kisses. Will he make the Celtics say Queensbridge?

1 -- I met him on a Monday and my heart stood still, da doo Ron Ron Ron, da doo Ron-Ron. And amid the rain of confetti, Ron Artest thanks his psychiatrist. How fitting for a crazy Game 7.

Fran Blinebury has covered the NBA since 1977. You can e-mail him here and follow him on twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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