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This is it for Celts, Lakers

Historic rivals meet in Game 7 at L.A.

LOS ANGELES – Even when Lamar Odom was a kid with limitless imagination growing up on New York’s playground courts, he thinks he might have dismissed tonight’s season finale as a bit too extravagant.

When the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the NBA finals, Odom realizes it’s a fantasy come true for any basketball player with the audacity to dream this big.

“It’s historic, especially when you talk about these teams and what they stand for, the pride,” the Lakers forward said Wednesday. “This is what you envision when you’re a kid in your backyard. Counting down, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…”

Another memorable chapter in the NBA’s best rivalry will end with a coronation at Staples Center, where the defending champion Lakers will try to earn their 16th banner while denying Boston its unprecedented 18th title in the clubs’ second finals meeting in three years.

For the fifth time in their 12 finals meetings, Boston and Los Angeles need all seven games to decide it.

Each previous time it went to Game 7, the Celtics won. Tonight the current Lakers and Celtics take the court for the NBA finals’ first Game 7 since 2005 and just its second in the past 16 years.


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