WASHINGTON, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Kobe Bryant had 30 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers past the Boston Celtics 102-89 in Thursday's opening game of the 2010 National Basketball Association finals.
The Lakers, losing to Boston in the 2008 finals, led for all but the first basket of the game, finishing on an 18-10 run to take a 50-41 lead at halftime. They stretched their lead to 20 points in the third quarter where Bryant scored 14 points. He also had six assists and seven rebounds in the game.
Pau Gasol had 23 points and 14 rebounds and Ron Artest scored 15 points for the defending champion before the home spectators.
Celtics star Paul Pierce had 24 points and nine rebounds and Rajon Rondo finished with 13 points, eight assists and six rebounds for Boston who were outrebounded 42-31 and had several players in foul trouble Thursday.
Kevin Garnett finished with 16 points and four rebounds for Boston who tied their lowest scoring first half in these playoffs with just 41 points.
Game two of the best-of-seven series is on Sunday in Los Angeles.
For the second time in three years and the 12th time in history the Lakers and the Celtics are battling in the post-season showcase.
The Lakers are now 9-0 at home in the playoffs and haven't trailed in a series.