The Boston Celtics continued their trip around the proverbial “corner” with a win against the reeling and shorthanded Los Angeles Lakers. Kyrie Irving led the way with 30 points on 66.7% shooting and Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris both chipped in with 16 points. LeBron James posted a 30-point triple-double in limited minutes for the Lakers.
The Celtics started out hot, making 5 field goals on 5 attempts. From there, the offense looked like a clogged toilet, though Boston’s talent allowed them to carry a lead into the second quarter. The second quarter started with more of the same until the end when Boston got the transition game flowing, taking a 57-47 lead into the halftime break.
The Celtics came out in the 3rd quarter firing on all cylinders leading to 3 quick 3-pointers for Marcus Smart who splashed in each of them in just as many tries. With some timely buckets by Kyrie Irving and a 9-2 push with LeBron James on the bench, the Celtics carried a 93-76 lead into the fourth. From there, although LeBron James made his own personal push, the Celtics took care of business to close out the win.
Irving (30 points) was exceptional. He posted 11 points on 4/5 shooting from the field in the first half while also being a +10 in a 10-point game. Al Horford was sensational from the tip, having a hand in basically everything positive that happened in the first quarter. He finished with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Gordon Hayward poured in 15 points on 6/8 shooting.
Off the bench, it was Johnathan Williams who stepped up for a Lakers team missing Lance Stephenson, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball. He posted a career-high 18 points, and Moritz Wagner also set a personal record with 22 points of his own. LeBron did his thing, posting 30 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. The Lakers looked solid with him out there, but with their season wasting away, the Lakers chose to not put him out there enough.
And so did this:
The Celtics threw together 32 assists on 48 field goals. Fun night.
The 41-26 Boston Celtics will stay in L.A. to play the Los Angeles Clippers in a late-night matchup (for the East Coast) on Monday night. That game tips off at 10:30PM EST on NBATV.