Boston’s new Big Three had to dig deep in the 2008 NBA Playoffs. The Celtics took seven games to put away a pesky Atlanta Hawks team in the Eastern Conference First Round, then tangled with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the semifinals. James nearly won the series himself with a 45-point clinic in Game 7, but Paul Pierce’s 41 points helped secure a Boston victory. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics ousted the Detroit Pistons in six games to set up an NBA Finals against an old foe, the Los Angeles Lakers. The Celtics set the tone early with two wins in Boston and a Game 4 win in Los Angeles, sending series back to TD Garden with a chance to win. With a 131-92 victory in Game 6, the Celtics claimed their 17th NBA World Championship title and Pierce deservedly received the Finals MVP award.
( C ) NBA/Celtics