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Police arrest 76 as fans, some rowdy, cheer Lakers win in LA

The Lakers beat the Miami Heat 106-93 on Monday (AEDT) in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, to win the NBA finals in six games.

The sounds of fireworks immediately reverberated across Los Angeles and fans headed to Staples Centre, the Lakers’ home court, to celebrate – despite admonitions to stay away.

Police officers try to disperse rowdy Lakers fans.

Police officers try to disperse rowdy Lakers fans.Credit:AP

Celebrations were mostly peaceful but some rocks and bottles were thrown at officers, KABC-TV reported. Videos posted online also showed cars doing “doughnuts” and fireworks being set off in the street – which is illegal without a permit, KCAL-TV reported. Witnesses told the Los Angeles Times that officers fired “beanbag rounds” at one point, which sent some people running.

A few officers on horseback worked to push the crowd away from Staples Centre. Later in the night, the large gathering fractured into several groups.

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti had discouraged public gatherings to celebrate the win, instead urging fans to cheer on the team from home.

“As we cheer our Lakers’ 17th championship, please remember it’s still not safe to gather in groups,” the mayor tweeted, in reference to the coronavirus pandemic.

AP

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