[Updated] LA police declare unlawful assembly outside Staples Center

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AP Photo/Richard Vogel

Los Angeles Laker fans celebrate on the street outside the Staples Center after a Lakers win in the NBA final game in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday June 17,2010. Crowds of rowdy revelers poured into the streets around Staples Center after Game 7 of the NBA finals rocking cars, setting bonfires and throwing rocks and bottles at officers.

Los Angeles police declared an unlawful assembly as hundreds of Los Angeles Lakers fans spilled into the streets near Staples Center after the Lakers 83-79 defeat of the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the NBA finals.

Updated at 11:00 p.m. | Permalink Police in riot gear contended with unruly crowds near the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles moments after the Lakers beat the Boston Celtics. Nine arrests had been made as of 11:00 p.m., said LAPD Officer Herrera, noting that many more were expected as the night wore on. Two people had been detained on suspicion of inciting, while seven others were arrested for public drunkenness. Police had formed skirmish lines around the arena before Game 7 of the NBA finals on Thursday night, aiming to prevent a repeat of the violence that accompanied the Lakers' victory last year. "We were very well prepared. The lesson learned from last year was our deployment wasn't large enough," said Mary Grady, LAPD public information director. "Unfortunately we have some people who want to celebrate irresponsibly." The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department had also closed Whittier Boulevard between Eastern and Garfield avenues in East Los Angeles in anticipation of celebratory crowds gathering there. L.A. County Sheriff's Captain Michael Parker said two arrests had been made as of 11 p.m. "One person was setting of firecrackers near sheriff's deputies," Parker said. "He was arrested for making terrorist threats." A bicyclist who struck a sheriff's patrol car on Flower Street, near Olympic Boulevard was attended to by paramedics before being transported from the scene in an ambulance, Capt. Parker said. KTLA reported fires were being lit in the street at 9th and Figueroa and officers were being hit with bottles. News reports of fights breaking out on Flower Street north of Olympic Boulevard were also broadcast live on TV at 9:45 p.m. Unruly crowds gathered at Flower Street near Olympic, and near 11th and Figueroa kept police in riot gear busy in the hours after the finale, prompting police to disperse the crowds. A car that was engulfed in flames on Flower Street between 7th and 8th streets was reported around 10 p.m. and stopped vehicle traffic as firefighters attended to the flames, KTLA reported. KPCC staff and wire reports contributed to this report.

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