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Lakers end Celtics winning streak
Los Angeles, Dec 26 (Agencies):
Published on 26 Dec. 2008 10:29 PM IST
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Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 27 points as the Los Angeles Lakers ended Boston Celtics’ 19-match unbeaten run to win their Christmas Day encounter 92-83 at the Staples Center and celebrate a career milestone for coach Phil Jackson. Spain’s Pau Gasol also added 20 points for the Lakers, who finished the game on a 13-2 run to give Jackson his 1,000th career win. “They had just won 19 straight games so they were due for one,” Bryant said. “It was a challenge to stop the streak because they were playing so well.” Entering the game, Boston (27-3) had engineered the best 29-game start to a season in history and matched the league’s fourth-longest winning streak. It was the first time the two sides had met since June when Boston closed out their NBA Championship play-off with a thumping 131-92 win. This time around, Los Angeles exacted a small measure of revenge thanks to Gasol, who scored seven points during the decisive fourth-quarter run. “It was a nice play-off atmosphere. A little deja vu-ish,” Gasol said. Boston took a two-point lead - their only advantage in the fourth quarter - with 3:57 left, when Rajon Rondo found Kevin Garnett for a dunk. Bryant and Gasol then went to work and the Lakers never looked back. As for Jackson he became the sixth coach in history to record 1,000 NBA wins and he now boasts a 1,000-473 career record with the Lakers and Chicago Bulls. “It was a good win,” Jackson said. “We knew we wanted to win and we had the ability to do it.” Jackson said at one point he had to take Bryant out of game because he was “taking shots that weren’t there ... He had to sit a bit and come back rejuvenated and help us win.”

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