Lakers take Game 1 vs Celtics

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KOBE Bryant scored 14 of his 30 points in the third quarter as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Boston Celtics 102-89.
Bryant came out firing on all cylinders for the Lakers, who outscored Boston 34-23 in the third period to extend their lead to 20 points in front of a sellout crowd of 18,997 at Staples Center arena.
Pau Gasol had 23 points and 14 rebounds for the defending champion Lakers, who are trying to make amends for losing in the 2008 finals to Boston.

For the second time in three years and the 12th time in history the Lakers and the Celtics are battling in the post-season showcase.
The Lakers have home court advantage but the Celtics have history on their side having won nine of 11 previous finals meetings between the two storied franchises.
And it didn't take long for the sparks to fly Thursday as Lakers forward Ron Artest and Celtics star Paul Pierce were slapped with technical fouls just 27 seconds into the game after they tangled under the Boston basket.

The melee drew players from both teams and resulted in some pushing and shoving.
Bryant was in full post-season mode Thursday, cutting his way through the Celtics' defence and breaking the game open in the third by shooting five-of-seven from the field.
The Lakers are now 9-0 at home in the playoffs and haven't trailed in a series.
Phil Jackson-led teams are also a perfect 47-0 in series wins after having won the first game.
Pierce had 24 points and nine rebounds for Boston who were outrebounded 42-31 and had several players get into foul trouble Thursday.
Game two of the best-of-seven series is Sunday in Los Angeles


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