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Lakers keeping an eye on Boston, Cleveland game

January 9, 2009 |  4:45 pm

Lebron_james When the Lakers gather tonight at Staples Center for their game against the Indiana Pacers, they probably will keep a close watch on the evening's marquee game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics.

And the Lakers should.

Boston beat the Lakers last season in the NBA Finals, and the Celtics are probably who the Lakers would like to face again for the championship. It would be sweeter for the Lakers and their fans if they beat the hated Celtics for the title.

But the Lakers also must watch the Cavaliers because they began the night tied with Cleveland for the best record in the NBA at 28-6.

If the Lakers and Cavaliers were to meet in the NBA Finals, the Lakers would prefer to have home-court advantage.

So whom will the Lakers root for tonight?

Probably the Cavaliers.

Another loss by the Celtics gives the Lakers a better chance of having home-court advantage over Boston in the NBA Finals.

Plus, for Lakers fans, there is great joy in seeing the Celtics lose.

(Update at 8:25 p.m. PT: Cavs won 98-83, handing the Celtics their seventh loss in nine games.)

-- Broderick Turner

Photo: On Christmas Day, Cavaliers fans threw confetti in the air as Cleveland's LeBron James throws chalk dust -- his pregame ritual. Credit: Tracy Boulian / The Plain Dealer / Associated Press