Boston Celtics defeat Los Angeles Lakers, 92-86

They were the old bones, the annoying underachievers who slogged through the final four months of the regular season, bound to be bounced from the playoffs, maybe in the first round.

Now they are one victory from glory, immortality, and a place in the rafters alongside the Green gods of Garden lore.

The Celtics beat the Lakers, 92-86, in Game 5 last night at TD Garden to take a three games to two lead in the NBA Finals. Captain Paul Pierce (27 points) and friends hav...

Heavily criticized, unwilling to credit Ron Artest for his defensive prowess, and seemingly lacking confidence, Paul Pierce looked as if he aged 10 years in the first three games of the NBA Finals. He passed up elbow jumpers. Complained too often about fouls and in one sequence found himself so open on an 18-footer he hit the backboard.

Pierce has lived many lives in Boston. He has made more comebacks than Tina Turner. He has been scrutinized, lauded, and even dismissed...

The degree of difficulty seemed to increase with every shot Kobe Bryant took. At one point, even Paul Pierce couldn’t believe it.

Bryant was in the middle of his outburst in the third quarter when the ball swung his way 27 feet from the rim. He was well out of any normal shooter’s range, but Pierce knows Bryant isn’t a normal shooter.

Bryant fired a shot that split the rim for 3 of 19 straight points he scored for the Lakers in the third quarter (23 stretching to the...

Doc Rivers knew there was a Kobe Bryant bomb planted somewhere in this series.

At least, he hopes there was only one.

“I hope so,’’ he said after watching the maestro score 23 consecutive Lakers points in this one, beginning with the last 4 of the second quarter and the first 19 of the second half. “It’s amazing what that does to your team. We’re up 12, and I’ve got to call a timeout to settle down our guys.’’

It was a great show, all right. But it’s just a footno...