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Lakers to get physical in order to get even with Boston

Expect some body-banging today from the Los Angeles Lakers in game two of the National Basketball Association Finals as they trail a series for the first time in the playoffs.
Boston's 98-88 victory Thursday put the Celtics ahead in the best-of-seven showdown, forcing the Lakers to battle back for the first time while trying to cope with the physical style that helped the hosts dominate rebounding 46-33.
"We've got to put some bodies on them," Lakers star Kobe Bryant said. "They put their hands on you, shove you, get physical. We've got to get up and down the floor, get rebounds and get running."
NBA Most Valuable Player Bryant hit only 9-of-26 shots in the opener as the Celtics limited the Lakers' fast-pace transition game and kept Bryant to mostly perimeter shots.
"This team plays hard and plays physical," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "We have to match it at some level."
That puts more pressure upon Spanish center Pau Gasol and forwards Vladimir Radmanovich and Lamar Odom to bump and grind inside with Boston scoring leaders Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
"We need to be more physical, not be dirty but not allow them to run everything they want to run. We allowed them to push us back too many times and force the game," Serbian standout Radmanovich said.
"We're definitely not the most physical team in the league but we have some things we can do."
Gasol, in his first NBA Finals after struggling for 6 1/2 years at Memphis, vowed he will rise to the challenge.
"We're going to match that physicality and we're going to be more aggressive and control the boards and the loose balls a lot better. That's going to give us a whole lot more chances and not give them second opportunities," he said.
"We start aggressive and continue to be aggressive for 48 minutes - that's how we're going to be able to win."
Viewing their mistakes in a video session helped boost the Lakers' confidence they can correct the errors with adjustments in game two and prove they have what it takes to handle the adversity of trailing a series.


Updated : 2021-06-13 11:33 GMT+08:00