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2010 NBA Finals: How the Los Angeles Lakers Won the Series With One Play

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 03: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers slam dunks over Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics in Game One of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 3, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Mark J. Terrill-Pool/Getty Images)
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John SmithContributor IJune 4, 2010

Game One of the NBA Finals was shaping up to be a great game. The intensity was everywhere. Emotion filled the Staples Center. Chris Rock wouldn’t shut up.

Then, in an instant, it changed.

Derek Fisher receives the ball in transition and looks to make a cross-court pass to Kobe Bryant, but there’s a problem; a 6’11” problem named Kevin Garnett stands between Fisher and Bryant ready to prevent the big finish.

So what does Fisher do?

He goes over Garnett.

Fisher threw a perfect alley-oop pass to Bryant for a slam dunk that made Lakers fans go absolutely insane.

What is this, 2001? 1985? It’s showtime!

The Celtics immediately called a timeout, giving Lakers fans all the time they needed to return to earth. But the real impact of the play was that it completely deflated the Boston Celtics.

Kevin Garnett got dominated by Pau Gasol.

Rajon Rondo didn’t move with the same elusiveness.

The game was over. In fact, the series was over.

It will be impossible for the Celtics to recover from such a devastating blow and disappointing loss in Game One.

Fisher and Bryant, the only Lakers remaining from the championship teams of the early 2000s, had another statement-making play that brought a new level of energy to the team and killed the Boston Celtics.

With Pau Gasol proving that he can handle Kevin Garnett, and with Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest seemingly at the top of their games, it seems unlikely that the Celtics will recover.

 

It’s a widely known fact that the team that wins Game One goes on to win the series the majority of the time.

This will certainly be the case for these 2010 NBA Finals.

If the Celtics were going to win, they would have more energy and physicality than the Lakers, but the Fisher-Bryant alley-oop destroyed all of that for the Celtics.

Kobe’s punishing jam absolutely flattened Boston, and the devastation will carry over into Games Two, Three, and so on. At this point, the Celtics will be lucky to win a game.

Kobe and Derek, get ready to make it five.

You just sealed the deal without even knowing it.

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