David Lassen, special to the Press-Enterprise, reports:

As the Lakers open the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics tonight at Staples Center, they are driven by the memory of their six-game loss to the Celtics in the 2008 Finals, yet careful to note these teams — winners of the past two NBA championships — are not the same ones that squared off two years ago.

Lakers driven by memories of 2008 Finals loss to Celtics

“That thought of defeat is the first thing that comes to your mind,” said Pau Gasol, looking back to 2008, “so that triggers a point that is sore, and should get us going.”

Kobe Bryant casts the memories of 2008 less in terms of the pain of defeat and more as the lesson that helped propel the Lakers to their success against Orlando last year.

“It’s things that we’ve carried with us from the series,” Bryant says, “in terms of how to play as a unit at both ends of the floor, the kind of tenacity you need to play with.

“Those are the kind of things that we learned from there that we still carry with us.”