Pau Gasol came up with 23 points and 14 rebounds as Kobe Bryant dropped 30 to give their Los Angeles Lakers a 102-89 Game 1 victory over the Boston Celtics yesterday at the Staples Center. The contest was physical from the start with Paul Pierce and Ron Artest locking elbows to be handed a pair of technicals in the first 27 seconds of play. The 2010 Celts roster, highly recognized as defensive specialists, were simply out hustled through 48 minutes. They will look to split in LA this Sunday before the series moves to Boston for the next three games.
“You can’t ease into the game, especially in the Finals,” said Pierce. “That’s one of the better rebounding teams in the NBA. We’ve just got to do a better job rebounding the ball, eliminating easy opportunities. When I look up and we’ve given up 100 points, I haven’t seen that in a while.” Pierce led the C’s scoring campaign with 24 points that included 12-of-13 from the charity stripe. Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo all contributed double-digit numbers in their losing efforts. Don’t miss the chance to witness your Celtics revamp for Games 3-5 at the TD Garden. NBA Finals tickets are now available!