BOSTON — The eyes of the basketball world will be on the TD Banknorth Garden for tonight’s rematch of the 2008 NBA Finals. The Lakers lost to the Boston Celtics in the deciding Game 6 of the Finals last June, a humiliating 39-point defeat that still angers and motivates the Lakers.
The Lakers won the first game of the season between the teams on Dec. 25 at Staples Center, but it’s safe to say they won’t be pleased until they have beaten the Celtics in Boston and then gone on to win the championship that eluded them last season. The Lakers will be without Andrew Bynum, who tore a ligament in his right knee last Saturday. Kevin Garnett of the Celtics has missed the last two games because of flu-like symptoms, but is expected to play tonight.
The Lakers have won four in a row; the Celtics have won 12 straight. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol each have scored 30 or more points in consecutive games, with Bryant scoring a season-high 61 in Monday’s victory over the New York Knicks.