The buzz of a rivalry recreation between the NBA’s two most storied franchises burst early Thursday afternoon when the Lakers dominated stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis out as a result of harm.
Hours later, the Celtics let certainly one of their abruptly best video games of the season flip into their worst loss.
The efficiency resembled a few of the Celtics’ ugliest ones of the previous. Without James and Davis on the bench in road garments, the Celtics appeared to calm down. Their beginning 5, arguably the very best within the league, turned in an embarrassing efficiency as they let the likes of Austin Reaves, Jaxson Hayes, D’Angelo Russell and different Lakers torch them. There had been some moments of resilience, however the Celtics couldn’t overcome their woes in a horrendous 114-105 loss to the Lakers, simply their third house defeat of the season.
Reaves erupted for 32 factors, together with seven 3-pointers, Hayes had a double-double with 16 factors and 10 rebounds as he constantly outworked everybody, and Russell had 16 factors and 14 assists because the Lakers walked into TD Garden and punked the Celtics. All 5 of Boston’s starters completed with a damaging plus/minus, highlighted by certainly one of Jaylen Brown’s worst efforts of the season.
Jayson Tatum had 23 factors and Kristaps Porzingis and Sam Hauser every had 17 in a uncommon dud for these Celtics, who dedicated too many turnovers and had been out-hustled all night time. They had been booed at instances. They by no means discovered a solution, stunning, for the undermanned Lakers.
The Lakers took a commanding 14-point halftime lead after they acquired sizzling from lengthy distance and hit 13 3-pointers within the first half, and led by as many as 16 early within the second half. The Celtics wanted a spark desperately early within the third quarter and one sequence pressured Mazzulla to go in an unorthodox course. Jaxson Hayes continued to torch the Celtics on the glass and grabbed two offensive rebounds on the identical play earlier than ending a three-point play that put the Lakers up 16 with 9:04 left within the quarter.
With Boston’s beginning unit clearly not slicing it, Mazzulla instantly pulled Brown, Porzingis and Holiday out of the sport and inserted Payton Pritchard, Sam Hauser and Al Horford. That trio performed the remainder of the quarter alongside Tatum and certainly one of White or Holiday and had some moments. They trailed 75-59 earlier than a string of 3-pointers introduced them again. Tatum’s step-back triple minimize Boston’s deficit to 6 at 77-71. On the Lakers’ subsequent possession, Tatum dove to the ground to pressure a leap ball with Rui Hachimura. Despite the whistle, Tatum was intent on getting the ball and emerged from the pile with it, which sparked a roar from the gang.
It appeared prefer it is likely to be a turning level. But the Celtics couldn’t string collectively sufficient stops to carve deeper into their deficit and nonetheless trailed by 10 heading into the fourth.
The Celtics carved their deficit to 6 within the opening minute of the fourth after White’s layup. But then Taurean Prince beat everybody down the ground for a layup. Moments later, they went again up 12 after a Hachimura triple.
The Celtics minimize it to 9 with lower than seven minutes to go after a White three. They had an opportunity to make it a six-point recreation on their subsequent possession, however Porzingis missed a 3-pointer, after which Hayes beat everybody down the ground and acquired fouled with 6:05 to go to go up 11. The Celtics by no means minimize their deficit to lower than 9 the remainder of the way in which.
Other takeaways from the loss:
– As unhealthy because the Celtics had been to start out the sport, they nonetheless weren’t in a horrible spot. They dedicated 9 turnovers, allowed 10 offensive rebounds and took 12 fewer pictures than the Lakers within the first quarter, however solely trailed by three after Jrue Holiday dished three assists – two on 3-pointers from Sam Hauser – and hit a buzzer-beating jumper within the last two minutes to steer a 10-4 Boston run.
– For a second consecutive recreation, Neemias Queta offered a spark for the Celtics within the absence of Luke Kornet. The Celtics trailed by 9 late within the first quarter when he entered the sport and he energized them with a dunk. They minimize their deficit to a few getting into the second and Queta was all over the place to start the interval, as he recorded a block and two offensive rebound within the opening minutes – which led to his tip-in after which a Payton Pritchard 3-pointer – to assist the C’s take a short lead.