Bill Russell’s 40-rebound performance in Game 7 of the 1962 NBA Finals squares off against Manny Ramirez’s walk-off home run in the 2007 ALDS in the first round of Boston’s Greatest Sports Moment tournament.
8. Russell’s 40 rebounds in ’62 FinalsThe Celtics were seeking their fourth consecutive NBA championship when they met the Western Division champion Los Angeles Lakers in the 1962 NBA Finals. After falling behind 2-1 and 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, Boston forced a Game 7 at the Boston Garden on April 18. Faced with the daunting task of slowing the Lakers’ Elgin Baylor, the Celtics also were limited on the offensive end when Tom Heinsohn, Jim Loscutoff, Frank Ramsey and Tom Sanders all fouled out late in the contest. Without help from some of his top teammates, Russell had to elevate his game, and he did. The 6-foot-9 center scored 30 points, but made his greatest impact on the boards by corralling an astonishing 40 rebounds — the most in NBA Finals history. Thanks to Russell’s Game 7 dominance, the Celtics held on for a 110-107 win in overtime, and eventually went on to win another six titles over the next seven years.
9. Manny’s walk-off in ’07 ALDSManny Ramirez was an integral part of both Red Sox World Series teams of the 2000s, teaming with fellow slugger David Ortiz to form a meat of the order that rivaled any in baseball. Manny’s time in Boston is best remembered for his towering home runs, and few were more iconic than his three-run, walk-off blast in Game 2 of the 2007 ALDS against the Los Angeles Angels. With the Red Sox and Halos tied at three in the bottom of the ninth, Ramirez sent a Francisco Rodriguez pitch over the Green Monster and into the Boston night. Manny raised his arms in an unforgettable picture just after making contact, and the Red Sox went on to sweep the Angels en route to their second World Series championship in four years.
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