There would be no blown lead in Game 2 of the Western Conference final. Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers saw to that.

Bryant scored 22 points, Lamar Odom added 20 points and 12 rebounds, and the Lakers took command late in the second quarter to rout San Antonio, 101-71, last night for a 2-0 lead over the Spurs.

Games 3 and 4 in the best-of-seven series will be played in San Antonio, where the Spurs have a 6-0 record in the postseason and have won 20 of their last 22 games.

Only 14 of the 222 teams to fall behind 2-0 in best-of-seven NBA playoff series have come back to win, including the Spurs in their second-round matchup with the New Orleans Hornets.


* The Boston Celtics watched film and talked about adjustments the day after losing at home for the first time in the playoffs.

"Sometimes, I think you need a mental break," Boston coach Doc Rivers said yesterday. "So, we're taking one and we'll be fresh."

It's time for Boston to try anything to stop its skid on the road. If the Celtics don't, they're going to be at home to watch the NBA Finals on TV.

The Detroit Pistons ended Boston's home winning streak at nine with a 103-97 victory on Thursday, which tied the Eastern Conference final at 1-1. Now, the NBA's top-seeded team will have to win a game on the road, something they have not done in winning their first two series against Atlanta and Cleveland by 4-3 margins.

"If we're going to win this series, we've got to protect the home for the rest of the series and try to get one on the road," Paul Pierce said.

Boston's first chance comes tonight at The Palace.

"People are going to say, 'Well, they haven't won on the road. Can they win on the road?' They're going to come in with a great focus," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "We have to have the same focus and hope the adrenaline of the crowd will help us play with even more energy."

If the Celtics lose, they will be the first team to start 0-7 on the road in the playoffs, which would break a tie for that distinction with the 1971 Los Angeles Lakers and the 2004 Miami Heat. *