2010 NBA Champs: How Ron Artest Won Game 7 for the Los Angeles Lakers

Queensbridge should be proud.

With Kobe and nearly every other Laker struggling mightily in Game 7, due in part to the Celtics terrific, shut-down defense, the Lakeshow did not appear like they were going to exact their revenge on nearly the same Celtics team that had embarrassed them two years prior with not only a 4-2 series win, but a 39-point victory in Game 6. 

Los Angeles needed an answer and it needed it fast. Surely there was someone on this team who could provide the spark necessary that would give the Lakers the needed motivation to win their 16th championship. If it wasn't going to come from Kobe or Gasol, one of the other role players needed to step up.

As it turns out, that player was Ron Artest. The man from Queensbridge, New York led the Lakers with 14 points in the opening half of Game 7 and come the fourth quarter made his hometown proud.

Artest's three offensive rebounds in the game were crucial, as the Lakers out rebounded Boston on the offensive glass by an absurd 23-8 margin.

But it was his play in the final two minutes that was most important. With the Lakers holding onto a small margin, thanks in part to Artest's hounding defense on Pierce (who struggled and finished with 18 points on 5-of-15 shooting), the ball went into the hands of Artest, who was a good foot beyond the 3-point line.

Keep in mind that Artest is a sub par 3-point shooter. He was 1-for-6 from beyond the arc prior to the score being 76-73. When Bryant passed it to Artest, he was giving him confidence and motivation—the motivation that one of the most clutch performer's in NBA history can give when he lets others shine at a time when he is supposed to take over.

Bryant, who was shooting 6-of-23 at the time, gave it up to Artest. And Artest, who had struggled with his shot for five of the previous six games, was the one who had the NBA Finals in his hands.

From 28 feet, Art...

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