Lakers edge Celtics 110-109
By Jimmy Golen
BOSTON ó 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 Boston’s expense.”I wish we would have come here last year with this kind of attitude,” said Pau Gasol, who scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds Thursday night to lead the Lakers to a 110-109 overtime victory over Boston.
“Nobody backed down. We were as physical as anybody.”
In a rematch of an NBA finals in which the Celtics outmuscled the Lakers, Lamar Odom made a pair of free throws with 16 seconds left in overtime. 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 tiebraker for home court advantage in the finals ó if they both make it back.
“It would be great,” Pierce said.
Kevin Garnett banged his fist on the table in agreement, and then interjected a reminder that seemed to be intended for the locker room across the hall: “We’re the champs, man.”
Kobe Bryant scored 26 points and had 10 rebounds to help the Lakers take a five-game winning streak into Sunday’s game against Cleveland.
Pierce scored 21 and Allen had 22, but both missed off-balance shots in the final seconds.