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Lakers Battle Celtics In NBA Finals Rematch (Preview?)

The Los Angeles Lakers welcome their long-time nemesis to the Staples Center, as the Boston Celtics come to town for a rematch of last year's NBA Finals. The Celtics and Lakers have the second and third-best records in the NBA, behind San Antonio, but both are coming off bad losses on Friday night. The Lakers fell behind by as many as 20 points in their loss to the lowly Sacramento Kings at home on Friday, while the Celtics were busy getting drubbed in Phoenix on their second night of back-to-back games.

Both teams have had Saturday to put their losses behind them and get back to business. In the regular season last year, the Lakers and Celtics split two games, with each team winning by a point on the opponent's home floor. Then, they produced one of the most competitive NBA Finals in recent memory, culminating in a thrilling 83-79 Lakers win in Game 7.

The Lakers and Celtics present a contrast in styles, as the Lakers are tied with the Nuggets as the most efficient offensive team in the league (at 112.6 points per 100 possessions), and the Celtics are second in the NBA in defensive efficiency, allowing 100.1 points per 100 possessions. Then again, these are two good teams, and they are still solid on the other end of the floor, even if they didn't show it Friday night. The Lakers are eighth in the league in defensive efficiency (104.7), and the Celtics are 12th in the league in offensive efficiency (108.0).

Today's 12:30 p.m. PST game is televised on ABC.

For more information on Sunday's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.