Celtics 131, Lakers 92

Celtics finish off Lakers, capture team’s 17th NBA title

After a 22-year wait that included the retirement of Larry Bird, lots of lean years, and the death of Red Auerbach, new Celtics legends named Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett brought the franchise back to the top.

Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, left to right, revel in the celebration of the Celtics' NBA Finals victory against the Lakers.

AP

Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, left to right, revel in the celebration of the Celtics' NBA Finals victory against the Lakers.

Garnett led the Celtics to a championship in his first year since arriving from Minnesota.

Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Garnett led the Celtics to a championship in his first year since arriving from Minnesota.

Fans gathered to celebrate after the win at Red Auerbach's statue near Fanueil Hall.

John Bohn/Globe Staff

Fans gathered to celebrate after the win at Red Auerbach's statue near Fanueil Hall.

Pierce, left, and Garnett shared a moment with coach Doc Rivers in the closing minutes of the Game 6, series-clinching win.

Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Pierce, left, and Garnett shared a moment with coach Doc Rivers in the closing minutes of the Game 6, series-clinching win.

Pierce and Garnett then gave the same treatment to Celtics GM Danny Ainge.

Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

Pierce and Garnett then gave the same treatment to Celtics GM Danny Ainge.

The championship was the Celtics' 17th in team history, an NBA record, but first for the oqnership group led by Wyc Grousbeck,

Barry Chin/Globe Staff

The championship was the Celtics' 17th in team history, an NBA record, but first for the oqnership group led by Wyc Grousbeck,

Pierce showed off the trophy to tens of thousands of fans who turned out for a rally several days after the final game.

Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

Pierce showed off the trophy to tens of thousands of fans who turned out for a rally several days after the final game.

Dan Shaughnessy

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2011/11/15/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/shaughnessy.png Not the old Celtics, but just as worthy champions

They are not your old man’s Celtics. No black canvas high-tops. No cigar smoke wafting toward the Garden rafters from the Boston bench. Still, it felt like a restoration of the natural order of the basketball universe.

From the archives | 2008

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2011/11/15/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/ryan90-2161.png In one year, Celtics go from bottom to the top

The Boston Celtics did not just win franchise championship No. 17. They snatched it. They swallowed it. They demanded it.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2011/11/15/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/celtsrally7--90x90.jpg Big Three stuck together en route to NBA title

As the clock ticked down with the Celtics claiming their first title in 22 years Tuesday night, Garnett, Pierce, and Allen were where they had been all along: side by side.

/rf/image_90x90/Boston/Content/ReceivedContent/Images/06222008_GL22trphyy-001--90x90.jpg?uuid=5630f02a-d001-11e0-905a-7f2091561e0f Celtics wrote new history after years of torment

From the wild streets of Rome to the glitzy avenues of Los Angeles, Boston’s Shamrocked Wonders steamrolled back to NBA supremacy.

/rf/image_90x90/Boston/Content/Sports/Images/10142007_GL14wwe--90x90.jpg?uuid=921805e8-d00a-11e0-905a-7f2091561e0f Greatest of the green? The top 10 Celtics teams of all time

These champion Celtics were a remarkable team, but not the greatest team in franchise history. Bob Ryan ranks the green squads through the years.

Kevin Garnett exorcises his championship demons

Never again can they say, "Yeah, but he's never won title" about Kevin Garnett, who said winning Game 6 produced one of the happiest days of his life.

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