BOSTON, MA—Big moments have defined the Lakers-Celtics blood feud, and in their first get-together in 21 years, a kid from Los Angeles gave Boston one to remember.
Paul Pierce, who used to sneak into Lakers games as a youngster, came bounding out of the tunnel from the locker room after leaving with an injured knee and led the Celtics to a tense 98-88 victory over Los Angeles on Thursday night in Game 1 of these tradition-soaked finals.
Pierce’s dramatic return after being carried from the court and wheeled down a hallway for treatment will be added to the annals of Celtics-Lakers lore, taking a spot alongside Magic Johnson’s baby sky hook and Kevin McHale’s clothesline of Kurt Rambis.
Kevin Garnett scored 24 points, Pierce finished with 22—11 after getting hurt—and Ray Allen, the third member of Boston’s Big 3, added 19 for the Celtics, who are chasing a 17th NBA championship.
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