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LA Lakers Fans Celebrate NBA Championship Win - 2002-06-13

In Los Angeles, thousands of L.A. Lakers fans celebrated the team's win of a third consecutive championship. The Lakers downed the New Jersey Nets 113 to 107 in game four of the national basketball finals Wednesday night. The game was played on the other side of the country, in New Jersey, but a heavy police presence kept fans under control in Los Angeles.

Nearly 19,000 fans cheered and shouted "three-peat" to celebrate the third consecutive title for their team. The Lakers clinched the championship in East Rutherford, New Jersey, but these Los Angeles fans watched the game on television at the Staples Center arena, where the Lakers play in they are in town.

How many titles can the Lakers win? These fans say the sky's the limit.

"Four, five, six, seven, eight. I don't know why you'd want to bet against the Lakers."

Authorities hoped to avoid a riot like the one that marred a Lakers' victory celebration two years ago. Excited fans that year set fire to cars and buildings. This year, police in riot gear subdued several boisterous fans who were trying to start bonfires.

A police spokesman said there were skirmishes in the street but little damage. As far as I know," he said, "there's been no real injuries, minor vandalism, but that was our whole plan. We were not going to let anything get big, and we did stop them from any major damage."

The celebration will start again when the Lakers come home to Los Angeles with their third consecutive championship trophy.