19 Jun 2010

NBA fans riot after Lakers victory

4:52 pm on 19 June 2010

Jubilant celebrations over the Los Angeles Lakers' dramatic win in the NBA championship turned rowdy in scattered sections of the city, with raucous revellers hurling rocks and bottles at officers, setting fires and jumping on vehicles.

Hundreds of police officers massed around the Staples Center before Game seven of the NBA finals on Friday, aiming to prevent a repeat of the violence that accompanied the Lakers' victory last year.

But despite their massive presence, scattered pockets of violence erupted in neighbourhoods near the arena.

Television news footage showed several people jumping on a taxi as it attempted to leave the area after the Lakers beat the Celtics 83-79 and also showed a man being beaten and a car set on fire.

Police spokesman Cleon Joseph says 38 people have been arrested.