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LAKERS FYI

Scuffles point to tensions

June 17, 2008|Mike Bresnahan | Times Staff Writer

BOSTON -- Buried among another large lost lead, and its reclamation, was an increase in scuffles between the Lakers and Boston Celtics.

Sasha Vujacic was angry after the Celtics' Sam Cassell tossed him to the court while the players fought for a loose ball early in the fourth quarter of Game 5. Vujacic stayed down for several seconds before popping up and exchanging words with Cassell.

Later in the fourth quarter, Lamar Odom and Celtics forward James Posey also had words, another small sampling of tension escaping as the NBA Finals progressed.

"It's emotional out there and we're fighting for position, fighting for the ball," Odom said. "You have to expect that, especially at this time of the year. That's fun, though. Guys are just talking."

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Changing lineups?

There were some different combinations for the Lakers' second unit in Game 5, though Coach Phil Jackson suggested it was only temporary.

Chris Mihm made a surprise appearance and played almost three minutes in the second quarter, while Trevor Ariza and Ronny Turiaf didn't even total three minutes of playing time. "We tried some different faces out there to see what we could do, but we're not going to stay with that," Jackson said. "We won't be comfortable with that" tonight.

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No more Staples

The Lakers decided not to show Games 6 and 7 on the Staples Center scoreboard after conferring with law enforcement and city officials, the team announced Monday.

Team officials cited the need for police resources throughout the city as the reason for the decision.

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mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

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