Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, June 4, 2010

Lakers make statement

Associated Press

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

The Lakers' Kobe Bryant drives against Boston's Ray Allen in the second half.

MARK J. TERRILL | Associated Press

spacer spacer


Hawai'i times; best of 7; x-if necessary

Yesterday: L.A. Lakers 102, Boston 89

Lakers lead series 1-0

Sunday: Boston at L.A. Lakers, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: L.A. Lakers at Boston, 3 p.m.

Thursday: L.A. Lakers at Boston, 3 p.m.

x-June 13: L.A. Lakers at Boston, 2 p.m.

x-June 15: Boston at L.A. Lakers, 3 p.m.

x-June 17: Boston at L.A. Lakers, 3 p.m.

spacer spacer

LOS ANGELES — Ron Artest and Paul Pierce went back-to-back with their elbows locked, both unwilling to yield even an inch underneath the hoop. The veteran forwards crashed to the court together and got up looking to rumble, earning double technical fouls.

And that was just in the first 27 seconds.

This NBA finals rematch was rough from the opening tumble, but Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol made sure the Los Angeles Lakers landed the first shot on the Boston Celtics with a 102-89 victory in Game 1 last night.

Bryant scored 30 points, and Gasol had 23 points and 14 rebounds for defending champion Los Angeles.

Artest scored 15 points after his tangle with Pierce in the opening minute of the 12th finals meeting between the NBA's most scintillating rivals. It was the opening salvo in a gritty physical effort against the Celtics, who memorably pushed around the Lakers while winning their 2008 finals matchup in six games.

The Lakers are the champs now, and they're not giving it up without a tussle or two.

"I knew it was going to be physical. That's a given," Gasol said. "After consecutive finals, we understand the nature of the game. We understand who our rival is, how they play. You've got to compete, and you've got to match that physicality, that aspect of the game to be successful."

Pierce scored 24 points and Kevin Garnett added 16 after a slow start for the Celtics, who might not want to know Lakers coach Phil Jackson's teams in Los Angeles and Chicago have won 47 straight playoff series after winning Game 1.

"I wish I had put it in the bank, so to speak," said Jackson, the 10-time champion. "We've got to play this out. ... Our defense stiffened at various points in the game, was very effective. We've got a lot of work ahead of us, but it's nice to know that (the 47-0 streak) is on our side."

Game 2 is Sunday night at Staples Center.

If the first 48 minutes of the rematch are any indication, this series again will be a knockdown, drag-out physical confrontation — and the supposedly finesse-oriented Lakers held their ground early, leaving the Celtics frustrated after giving up 100 points for just the second time in their last 10 games.

"They were the more physical team by far," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "They were more aggressive. They attacked us the entire night. I didn't think we handled it very well."

Ray Allen scored 12 points in just 27 minutes, saddled with constant foul trouble while trying to guard Bryant. Pierce also picked up early fouls, while Garnett simply struggled, going 7 for 16 from the field and grabbing just four rebounds.

BOSTON 21 20 23 25— 89

L.A. LAKERS 26 24 34 18—102

BOSTON–Pierce 6-13 12-13 24, Garnett 7-16 2-2 16, Perkins 2-2 4-5 8, Rondo 6-14 1-4 13, R.Allen 3-8 6-6 12, T.Allen 1-4 2-2 4, Wallace 3-4 2-2 9, Davis 1-3 1-2 3, Finley 0-0 0-0 0, Robinson 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 29-67 30-36 89.

L.A. LAKERS–Artest 5-10 2-2 15, Gasol 8-14 7-10 23, Bynum 4-6 2-4 10, Fisher 3-8 3-3 9, Bryant 10-22 9-10 30, Vujacic 0-1 0-0 0, Odom 2-6 1-2 5, Farmar 2-4 0-0 4, Brown 3-5 0-0 6, Walton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 37-76 24-31 102.

3-Point Goals—Boston 1-10 (Wallace 1-2, Robinson 0-2, R.Allen 0-2, Pierce 0-4), L.A. Lakers 4-10 (Artest 3-5, Bryant 1-2, Vujacic 0-1, Odom 0-2). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Boston 38 (Pierce 9), L.A. Lakers 52 (Gasol 14). Assists—Boston 19 (Rondo 8), L.A. Lakers 18 (Bryant 6). Total Fouls—Boston 28, L.A. Lakers 26. Technicals—Pierce, Wallace, Artest. A—18,997 (18,997).