C’s, Lakers both look for payback - Metro US

C’s, Lakers both look for payback

The Celtics want their title back, and the 2010 NBA Finals figure to get mighty personal.

Boston knew its chances to repeat as world champions last season were as fragile as Kevin Garnett’s injured knee. So after the Lakers marched their way to the 2009 title, the Celtics felt like something was unrightfully stolen from them.

Since Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen have been so driven to honor the Celtics’ historic legacy, it seemed they couldn’t help but feel sick there was little they could do to stop the Lakers from winning last season.

Now, even though much of the talk is about the Lakers trying to get payback for ’08, don’t forget the Celtics want payback for ’09 when the Finals start tomorrow (9 p.m., ABC).

“There’s a lot of things that people can write about and talk about,” Kobe Bryant told the Los Angeles media. “It’s a sexy matchup.”

Obviously, it starts with the banners. The Celtics have an NBA-best 17 world championships, but the Lakers have 15. And this will be the teams’ 12th meeting in the Finals, with the C’s claiming nine of the first 11 showdowns.

“They are a championship franchise, just like ourselves,” Pierce told reporters Monday.

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