Entering Los Angeles on a back-to-back, and capping off a six game road trip, the Celtics were looking to get things back on track. The team was coming off their worst loss of the season in a defeat to the Golden State Warriors.
This of of course was followed by another dissapointing loss against the Clippers. In fact, it was more of the same from the loss two days earlier in Golden State. The Celtics were outclassed and dominated for the second game in a row, losing 113-93 to the Clippers.
So heading into the second night of a back-to-back, coming off two dissapointing losses, it’s safe to say Boston was motivated. Especially when that game is against the rival Los Angeles Lakers. Here’s how that game went.
Celtics Start Off Strong
The Lakers, who were 11-15 heading into this one, started off slow. They were seemingly okay with this too, letting the Celtics do whatever they wanted offensively. LA allowed them to open up a 13 point lead, with Boston winning the first quarter 37-24.
The offensive rebounding was the story to start the game. Boston dominated out of the gate on the glass, especially Luke Kornet, who finished with six offensive boards on the night. The Celtics finished with 13 total offensive boards on the night.
More Of The Same In The Second
More of the same was on tap for the second quarter.
The Celtics stayed hot, hitting 10 threes on 23 attempts in the first half. Jayson Tatum, who once again shined putting up 44 on the night, had 15 alone in the second quarter.
Boston closed on a 13-5 run, extending their lead to 15 going into the half.
After a disastrous start to the west coast road trip shooting from three, it was good to see the team back in form. Both Tatum and the Celtics as a whole had struggled from behind the arc in the previous west coast games. Even if it was only for the first 24 minutes, things looked back to normal.
Third Quarter Let Down
The third quarter started the same way the first 24 minutes went. The Celtics extended the lead to 20 through the first seven minutes of the second half. Things were going great.
Then, the 2021 Celtics made an appearance. Not so good to have you back.
Turnover after turnover, the Celtics let the Lakers chip away and tighten the game up. The Lakers ended the third quarter on a 17-4 run, cutting the lead to six heading into the fourth quarter.
We had to let LeBron go off? Really?
More Lakers In The Fourth
The fourth quarter started just as bad as the third quarter ended. Boston had more turnovers than made shots. They were outscored 10-0 in the first three minutes.
The next five minutes got even worse. Boston continued to turn the ball over, allowing the Lakers to get easy baskets in transition. LA finished the game with 26 fast break points. The Lakers also finished with 14 forced turnovers and 23 points off those turnovers.
It was now a 23-5 start for the Lakers in the first eight minutes. From up to 20 to down 12. An unimaginable 40-9 run and a 31 point swing in the span of thirteen minutes. Insane.
Celtics Final Push
At this point, it seemed like the Celtics were about to have a collapse. It was reminiscent of the January game last season against the New York Knicks.
They were four minutes away from suffering their first three game losing streak since the NBA Finals.
Something else happened, however. Instead of calling it, which would have been easy considering the circumstances, Boston went on a run. The Celtics took off and went on a 19-5 run to finish the fourth quarter and extend this game to overtime.
It started with none other than the reigning defensive player of the year Marcus Smart. He stole an inbounds pass, then got an easy bucket thanks to a made three from Grant Williams.
Cutting the lead back down to eight with just under four to go, the Celtics still had a sliver of life. After forcing a few stops, Smart once again made a big play, drilling a three to cut the lead to two with just under a minute to go.
Forced to foul, the Celtics sent Anthony Davis to the line. He thankfully missed both free throws and gave the Celtics a chance to tie or win, and well…
Overtime was the “Jays” show.
Tatum and Brown hit back to back buckets to secure a win in what was a relatively stress free overtime period.
The Celtics escaped with a 122-118 victory, capping off the six game road trip with a 4-2 record. This win also improves the Celtics to a league best 22-7 record.
Jayson Tatum had nine rebounds and six assists to go along with a game high 44 points. Jaylen Brown finished with 25 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists.
The Celtics are now back in Boston for a seven game home stretch at the TD Garden. They have some key matchups against the Milwaukee Bucks on Christmas and then the Clippers four days later.
If you didn’t catch the game real time, do yourself a favor and watch the highlights here:
One of the early choices for regular season games of the year.
Trending This Week:
Derrick White Has Boston One Win Away From HistoryMay 29, 2023Derrick White forces game seven with one of the most improbable game winners you'll ever see. Celtics are now one...
The World of October 20, 2004May 29, 2023Past is Prelude The Boston Celtics have rallied from 3-0 and forced a game seven! They’re just one win away...
Celtics Lose Game Seven Ending the 2022-23 SeasonMay 30, 2023The Celtics fall one game short of making history. And they did so in embarrassing fashion. A tough ending for...