He kept dribbling and dribbling, but there was nowhere to go.
He kept shooting and shooting, but the shots wouldn’t fall.
And as the game disappeared into the long night, the Celtics' lead got bigger.
Despite screams and shouts from a seething Kobe Bryant, the minutes kept ticking away and a championship trophy was hanging in the balance.
The Celtics knew their gameplan well and they were playing it to perfection—they would not let Bryant beat them.
But he would not be denied. In what had become an all-too-familiar scene for the Lakers in previous years, Bryant tried to do it himself and he tried to do it alone—but he couldn’t.
And for a second, it looked like the ghosts of Celtics past would continue to haunt the Lakers.
From all those years that the Celtics dominated the Lakers, it looked like their domination would continue.
The Celtics lead stretched to 13 points midway through the third quarter and the Lakers looked lost in the big city lights of Hollywood, and shaken by the magnitude of a Game Seven on the game’s biggest stage.
And then slowly but surely, the lead started to whither. Slowly but surely, the Lakers made their stand and made sure they wouldn't go down fighting.
The history of these two franchises goes way back but there was still a chapter to write about these two teams, and the fourth quarter would be one for the ages.
Like all feel-good ending stories, this game had a perfect Hollywood ending.
This wasn’t about one player becoming a legend, and this just wasn’t about one player cementing his place in NBA history and Lakers folklore.
This was about a team—it was a team who rose to the occasion on one special night inside Staples Center in the heart of Los Angeles.
The stars were out and the lights were flashing but beneath all the hype and hoopla of Lakers and Celtics, there was a team who stood firm.
There was a seven-foot Spaniard sidekick who scored 19 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, there was a quirky Queensbridge native who chipped in 20 points and five steals, and there was an old, reliable veteran who rallied the troops and hit one of his signature big shots like it was yesteryear.
Together, this team beat the Boston Celtics. Together, this team withstood seven long, grueling games. And together, this team picked up their struggling superstar when he needed help.
In what has been a recurring theme for the 2010 playoffs, the Lakers came together when it mattered most. In winning their 16th championship in franchise history, the Lakers united. And now, they sit atop the NBA as champions yet again.