LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Kobe Bryant scored 30 points, Pau Gasol had 23 points and 14 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers got tough in a 102-89 victory over the Boston Celtics in the NBA finals opener Thursday night.
Ron Artest scored 15 points after tumbling to the ground in a tangle with Paul Pierce in the opening minute of the 12th finals meeting in the NBA’s most scintillating rivalry.
Bryant led a gritty physical effort against the Celtics, who memorably pushed around the Lakers while winning their 2008 finals matchup in six games.
Pierce scored 24 points 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.
Game 2 is Sunday night.