Welcome to the Staples Center!

We are live in Los Angeles for Game 5 of the NBA Finals!

As you heard Doc Rivers say on our pregame show, Kendrick Perkins will NOT play tonight, replaced in the starting lineup by Leon Powe, getting a HUGE start in his home state. I’m a little surprised by the decision to go with the youthful Powe instead of bruising veteran (I love that term) P.J. Brown. Brian Scalabrine replaces Perkins on tonight’s active roster.

Ashanti just performed the National Anthem. Her bodyguard might be the largest man I’ve ever seen.

One quick personal note: my bad Jo Jo! A running debate amongst the SportsCenter 5 team is whether to switch to the time zone of the location, or stay on Boston time. OK, it’s basically me against everyone else. I’ve given up on a watch in favor of the cell phone, which switches over. So of course, the one time I actually stick to Boston time is telling Celtics great Jo Jo White we need him at 8:00 for our pregame show instead of 5! Jo Jo (and PR chief Heather Walker) were perplexed as to why I wanted him to come on in the middle of the game. Luckily, we all figured it out and got Jo Jo on the show. Sorry JJ! Now let’s go on with the game!

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