Boston 110, L.A. Lakers 91

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 30 (AP) -- Paul Pierce scored 33 points and Kevin Garnett had 22 points, 12 rebounds and six assists Sunday night to lead the Boston Celtics to a 110-91 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Boston took the lead in the first quarter and never relinquished it. Each time the Lakers threatened, the Celtics would pull away again.

Kobe Bryant scored 22 for Los Angeles, going just 6-of-25 from the floor. Lamar Odom had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

The victory in the final of two meetings between the teams this season ran Boston's NBA-best record to 26-3 and extended its winning streak to six straight. It also ended a four-game winning streak by the Lakers, who still have won 10 of their last 13.

The Celtics prevented Lakers coach Phil Jackson from moving ahead of Boston Hall of Fame coach Red Auerbach on the career wins ladder. Jackson remained tied with Auerbach for seventh on the all-time list with 938 victories.

Ray Allen added 19 points for Boston and Tony Allen, filling in for Rajon Rondo, had 16.

There obviously was a lot of emotion during the game -- and a lot of jawing at the referees, who called seven technical fouls over the course of the game: on the Celtics' Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, Ray Allen and coach Doc Rivers; and the Lakers' Bryant, Trevor Ariza and Kwame Brown.

Odom also was called for a flagrant foul late in the game, with Ray Allen drawing his technical on the same play.

Garnett left the game briefly in the second quarter to get two stitches above his right eye.

Los Angeles, which trailed by double digits much of the game, narrowed the gap to 72-66 with 3:17 left in the third quarter, but Pierce scored 10 points in a row to give the Celtics an 82-66 lead at the end of the period.

Boston was up 53-45 at halftime, with Los Angeles narrowing the gap after falling behind by 17, at 45-28, early in the second quarter.

Pierce had 16 points for the Celtics and Bryant 16 for the Lakers at the break. Bryant made just three of his 15 shots from the floor, but 10 of 11 from the free throw line.

Tony Allen scored 13 first-half points on 4-of-5 shooting while playing in place of Rondo, who sat out because of tightness in his right hamstring.

The Lakers wore throwback, short shorts in the first half, particularly odd-looking in contrast to the Celtics' knee-length, today look.

Garnett and Pierce scored eight points apiece to help the Celtics to a 32-23 lead at the end of the first quarter. Bryant scored nine for the Lakers, but went just 2-of-8 from the floor.

NOTES: Lakers Hall of Famer Jerry West, an in-person-reminder of the old Celtics-Lakers rivalry, was introduced before the game as Los Angeles' honorary captain. The sellout crowd of 18,997 gave him a standing ovation. ... The Celtics won the first meeting of the season, taking a 107-94 victory Nov. 23 in Boston when Pierce led a balanced scoring attack with 20 points. ... Rondo, whose injury isn't serious, is averaging 9.4 points, 5.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds.


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