Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 2/22

Game 1: Tuesday, February 22nd
Celtics95Final
Lakers104
Game 2: Wednesday, March 2nd
Lakers101Final
Celtics104

Celtics 95

(27-27, 8-18 away)

Lakers 104

(27-24, 19-10 home)

    Coverage: FSW

    7:30 PM ET, February 22, 2005

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    BOS 27 24 23 2195
    LAL 22 25 25 32104

    Top Performers

    Boston: R. Davis 25 Pts, 3 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl

    Los Angeles: L. Odom 21 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Ast, 4 Stl, 1 Blk

    Kobe-Odom (42 points) get the win over Pierce-Davis (50)

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The storied rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics has lost nearly all of it luster.

    The names have changed, even the shot selections. No more skyhooks by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. No more set shots by Bob Cousy. Time marches on, and it's back to square one for two teams that have combined for 30 NBA championships, 44 conference titles and 51 division championships since beginning their rivalry in 1948-49.

    The Lakers won this one 104-95 Tuesday night, with Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom each scoring 21 points and Chris Mihm adding 19 points and 15 rebounds to offset 25 points each by Paul Pierce and reserve guard Ricky Davis.

    The Lakers and Celtics have met in the finals 10 times, once when the Lakers were in Minneapolis. The only season in the history of the Lakers-Celtics rivalry that neither team qualified for the playoffs was 1993-94.

    But so far this season, the Celtics' longest winning streak is three games and the Lakers' longest is two -- on 10 occasions.

    In the 1980s, the Celtics and Lakers met three times in the finals and there wasn't a tougher regular-season ticket in sports.

    "That was a great rivalry that lasted a whole decade. It still has a little mystique to it, but it's not the same," Pierce said. "You respect those guys and what they did during their time for the league and the Boston Celtics. But this is a whole new era."

    This was the first meeting between the teams since the Lakers traded Gary Payton to the Celtics on Aug. 6 for Mihm, Chucky Atkins and Jumaine Jones. Rick Fox also went to Boston in the deal, but retired a month before the season opener.

    Jones scored 14 points for the Lakers, and Luke Walton -- making his first start of the season with Caron Butler was at home with a stomach virus -- had nine points in 36 minutes and tied a career best with seven assists. Los Angeles grabbed 21 offensive rebounds, translating into 22 second-chance points.

    "You can't beat a team when they get that many offensive rebounds," Payton said. "We had control of the game for three quarters, and then all of a sudden they make a run and we panic. We shot long jump shots and turned the ball over, and then they got to run."

    The anticipated shootout between Bryant and Pierce, the leading scorers for both teams, never materialized because both players were plagued by foul trouble.

    Celtics No. 1 draft pick Tony Allen spent only 2:20 on the court before getting his third foul with 6:45 left in the half -- and his fourth came just 2:17 into the third, and he fouled out for the first time as a pro with 2:39 left.

    "Foul trouble hurts. That's why it's a team game," coach Doc Rivers said. "When one of your key players gets in foul trouble -- and we had a couple of them tonight -- you still have to search and find a way to win. And we just didn't do that."

    Trailing by eight with 5:56 remaining, the Celtics got as close as 88-84 on a pair of free throws by Raef LaFrentz and a dunk by Mark Blount with 5:15 left.

    But the Lakers responded with a dunk by Mihm off a nice feed inside by Bryant, whose two free throws and reverse layup gave them their first double-digit lead and helped trigger a 9-2 spurt that sealed the victory.

    "We got into the passing lanes and were able to get some deflections, run a little bit and make the game easier," Odom said. "We started off a little sloppy and turned it over, but we played much better in the second half offensively and defensively."

    Boston led by as many as nine after Davis drained a 3-pointer with 6:17 left in the third quarter. But the Lakers closed to 74-72 on Walton's 3-pointer from the left corner with 24.8 seconds left in the quarter, then opened the fourth with a 13-4 run to pull ahead 85-78 with 7:28 to play. Odom helped fuel the rally with six points, while Boston went 4:16 without a field goal.

    "We felt like we shot ourselves in the foot," Pierce said. "We had it in our hands and it slipped away. Mental errors by myself took our team out of the game, and it snowballed."

    Game notes


    Now that anyone with $11,000 can have the Celtics' arena named after them for one game, the offer has caused quite a stir around Boston. "It would be funny to play at `Paul Pierce Arena' one night. I think that would be absolutely hilarious," coach Doc Rivers said. FleetBoston Financial gave up the `FleetCenter' monicker after the company was acquired by Bank of America. ... If the Lakers win the rematch at Boston on March 2, it would give them their first five-game winning streak ever against the Celtics. ... The Celtics are 0-4 against the Lakers on this date, including 1961, 1963 and 1970. All four games were on the road.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    BOS
    LAL
    Points 95 104
    FGM-FGA 34-74 (.459) 34-82 (.415)
    3PM-3PA 5-16 (.313) 8-19 (.421)
    FTM-FTA 22-32 (.688) 28-41 (.683)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-32 21-54
    Assists 19 19
    Turnovers 13 14
    Steals 8 10
    Blocks 8 6
    Fast Break Points 10 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 31 (1/0) 25 (2/0)
    Largest Lead 9 12

    Top Performers

    Boston
    Los Angeles
    Ricky Davis Davis
    Points: 25
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0
    Lamar Odom Odom
    Points: 21
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 1