Johnny Damon’s 2004 ALCS grand slam squares off against Ray Allen leading a 24-point comeback against the Lakers in the first round of Boston’s Greatest Sports Moment tournament.
7. Johnny Damon’s 2004 ALCS grand slamRed Sox fans were not comfortable heading into Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS, despite three straight wins against the New York Yankees. David Ortiz eased some of the tension with a two-run home run in the first inning to give Derek Lowe some breathing room, but Red Sox fans still sat on the edge of their seats. Then, Johnny Damon stepped into the box with the bases loaded in the second inning. Yankees manager Joe Torre took out starter Kevin Brown and brought in Javier Vazquez to face the lefty. Damon took the first pitch Vazquez threw him and sent it over the right-field wall and into the seats for a grand slam. Damon’s blast gave the Sox a 6-0 lead. Although early in the game, the greatest comeback in Red Sox history not only seemed possible — it seemed inevitable. Seven innings later, the Red Sox were on their way to the World Series.
10. Ray Allen caps off 24-point comebackThe Celtics’ opportunity to win their first NBA title in 22 years was slipping away. After taking a 2-0 lead over the Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals, the C’s traveled to Los Angeles and lost Game 3 and quickly fell behind 35-14 in the first quarter of Game 4. The momentum and the championship looked to be swinging in the Lakers’ direction until the Celtics pulled off the biggest NBA Finals comeback since 1971. L.A. led by as many as 24 points in the third quarter, but Boston used a 21-3 third-quarter run to fight back and take its first lead of the game with 4:07 to go. With less than 30 seconds remaining and the Celtics leading 94-91, Ray Allen sealed the game with a memorable drive to the basket. Waving off screens from his teammates, Allen waited until the shot clock was down to five seconds, then blew by Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic and finished with a left-handed layup around Pau Gasol’s outstretched arm. The Staples Center crowd fell silent, and the Celtics held on for a 97-91 victory and 3-1 series lead. Five days later, the Celtics finished off their longtime rivals to claim the franchise’s 17th NBA championship.
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