Los Angeles police aim to head off any disturbance after NBA championship game

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Police are gearing up to prevent violence in Los Angeles after Thursday night’s Game 7 of the NBA finals between the Lakers and Boston Celtics.

But at least one store owner near LA’s Staples Center says he’ll close before the game ends — just in case.

Hundreds of police officers will be deployed around the downtown arena to prevent a repeat of rioting that occurred in 2000 after the Lakers won their first championship in a dozen years, or the disturbance that erupted last year.

Fan Victor Lopez says he helped overturn a police car in 2000, but now he’s a 27-year-old father. He says these days he doesn’t want to risk jail time.

City officials are warning fans to stay away from the downtown area unless they have tickets to the game.

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