Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lakers Beat Celtics Again

BOSTON (By Jimmy Golen, AP) - Ray Allen was still on the floor, knocked on his back, when the Los Angeles Lakers began hugging and chest-bumping under the 2008 NBA Championship banner that was earned at their expense.

"I wish we would have come here last year with this kind of attitude,'' said Pau Gasol, who scored 24 points with 14 rebounds Thursday night to lead the Lakers to a 110-109 overtime victory over Boston.

"Nobody backed down,'' he added. "We were as physical as anybody.''

In a rematch of an NBA finals in which the Celtics outmuscled the Lakers to the title, Lamar Odom made a pair of free throws with 16 seconds left in overtime and Los Angeles held on with physical defense against Paul Pierce and Allen that prevented either All-Star from getting off a clean shot.

The loss snapped the Celtics' 12-game winning streak and dropped them to 0-2 against the best in the West. Boston trails the Lakers by percentage points for the best overall record in the NBA, and would lose a tiebreaker for home court advantage in the finals - if they both make it back.



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