Sunday , Feb , 26 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Boston resumes old rivalry with LA

(Sports Network) – The Los Angeles Lakers are having a tough month and will
try to get back in the victory column Sunday when they open a small two-game
homestand against the Boston Celtics at the Staples Center.

Los Angeles owns a 4-7 record in February and continued the downslide Friday
night against the rival Clippers.

Kobe Bryant had 39 points and eight assists, while Chris Mihm added 11 points
and seven boards in the loss for the Lakers, who had a brief two-game winning
streak halted.

Los Angeles, which is 3-1 in its last four home games, owns a 15-10 record at
the Staples Center this season. LA is currently seeded sixth in the Western
Conference playoff hunt.

Boston, meanwhile, has won four of its last six game following a six-game
losing streak.

On Friday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, Paul Pierce poured in 37
points in a 102-96 triumph at the Rose Garden.

Wally Szczerbiak scored 25 points and rookie Ryan Gomes added 13 points and 17
rebounds for Boston, which is a dismal 6-21 on the road this season. Friday’s
road win was just the second in 10 tilts away from Beantown this season.

In the last meeting between Boston and LA on March 2, 2005, the Celtics ended
a four-game losing streak against the Lakers with a 104-101 win in Beantown.

Sunday’s matchup will feature two of the top scorers in the NBA. Bryant leads
the league in scoring with 35.0 points per game, while Pierce is sixth with
26.6 clip per outing.

Pierce has scored at least 30 points in seven of his last eight games, while
averaging 32.8 in the last 10.

Boston has dropped its last three games at the Staples Center and eight of 12
overall in the series with the Lakers.