The Celtics used the highly anticipated matchup to get out of their funk and snapped their 3-game losing streak by dismantling the Lakers en route to a convincing 139-107 victory.
FINAL: Boston 139, Los Angeles 107— Celtics Stats (@celtics_stats) January 21, 2020
This marks the Celtics largest margin of victory over the Lakers in a regular season game since beating Los Angeles by 36 points (114-78) on Nov. 27, 1963
Jayson Tatum continued to rise up to the level of competition by pouring in a game-high 27 points and hit 5-of-8 3-pointers, while Kemba Walker returned after missing Saturday’s game due to left knee soreness to net 20 points. Jaylen Brown, who missed the last two games due to a thumb sprain, also recorded 20 points.
After quickly falling behind 8-0 in the opening minutes, the C’s offense erupted to take a 69-55 halftime lead — it was the most points the Lakers, who came in with the NBA’s best road record, had given up in the first half this season. The Celtics finished shooting 55.4 percent from the field and connected on 16-of-34 treys.
But it was in the third quarter when the Celtics really hit their stride as Boston connected on 14-of-21 field goals in the stanza to blow things open. Brown set the tone right after the break with his loudest two points of the night when he dunked on LeBron James.
That energized the C’s and put them on a torrid pace as they could hardly miss from the floor. Tatum started to take over by hitting two 3-pointers and instead of settling for mid-range jumpers, he attacked the rim. Walker also got into the paint routinely to help extend the commanding lead to 104-80 after three quarters and allowed the Celtics to cruise in the final frame.
The Celtics were much more active defensively, getting numerous steals and deflections, after a few subpar defensive performances recently. Boston held the Lakers to 7-of-26 showing from 3-point range and collected 10 steals.
The C’s also hit the offensive glass to open up a double-digit advantage in the first half. Boston grabbed 13 offensive rebounds in the first half, which was the same amount of defensive rebounds it had over the first 24 minutes.
Enes Kanter provided a lot of that production as he scored all 18 of his points in the first half and recorded another double-double by grabbing 11 rebounds.
James played 29 minutes for the Lakers in the loss and finished with 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting to go along with 13 assists and seven rebounds.
For Walker, it was his first win in his career facing James in 29 tries.