BOSTON, MA -- Paul Pierce shook off a sprained knee in the third
quarter and sparked the Boston Celtics to a 98-88 win over the L.A.
Lakers in the opener of the NBA Finals in the latest renewal of
this classic rivalry.
After being carried off the court with the injury, Pierce came
bounding out of the tunnel from the locker room a few minutes
later. He resumed his scoring immediately by hitting two big
3-point shots, sending the Boston crowd into a frenzy.
Pierce finished with 22 points, 11 of them coming after getting
hurt. Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 24. Ray Allen, the third
member of Boston's Big 3, added 19 for the Celtics, who are chasing
a 17th NBA championship.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 24 on 9-of-26 shooting. Pau
Gasol and Derek Fisher each added 15 for Los Angeles.
This is the 11th time these franchises have met in the NBA
championship. Boston won the first eight meetings and the Lakers
have won the last two championship matchups.
Game 2 is Sunday night in Boston.