Celtics, Lakers in Thursday NBA showdown

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Boston will try to record its 20th straight victory when it faces the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day.

It will be the first time the NBA's most colorful franchises have met since the Celtics pounded the Lakers, 131-92, in Game 6 of last season's NBA Finals in June.


In the interim, the Celtics have compiled a 27-2 record, the best start to an NBA regular season.

Their 110-91 win over Philadelphia Tuesday made them one victory better than both the 1966-67 76ers and 1969-70 New York Knicks.

"Unless you win it all, it's pretty much just steam in the air," forward Kevin Garnett told The Boston Globe after Tuesday's milestone victory. "You see it and then it evaporates."

The Lakers lead the Pacific Division with a 23-5 record, and have won seven of their last 10 contests.

"The only stock we put in this contest is to see where we stand at this moment," Lakers guard Kobe Bryant told the LA Daily News.

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