Sunday, January 29, 2023

Celtics 125, Lakers 121 [OT]: Jaylen Brown forces overtime to snap three-game skid

The Celtics held off the Los Angeles Lakers 125 -121 in overtime Saturday night at TD Garden to snap a three-game skid.

Jaylen Brown finished with 37 points on 13-of-23 from the field -- including a game-tying 3-point play with 4.1 seconds left in regulation and 11 points in overtime -- to go along with nine rebounds. Jayson Tatum recorded another double-double of 30 points (8-of-25), 11 rebounds to help the C's sweep the season series with their longtime rival and improve to 36-15.
"At the end of the day, the players decided that game," Brown said in his postgame presser. "We made plays down the stretch; they made plays down the stretch. And I thought it was a good game. It was probably one of the greater games in our recent Lakers-Celtics matchup. And I'm happy we came out on top."
Malcolm Brogdon scored 26 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists off the bench, as Derrick White started in place of Marcus Smart (ankle injury) for the fourth straight game, adding 14 points and five rebounds for Boston -- who were also without Robert Williams (ankle injury).

LeBron James led all scorers with 41 points on 15-of-30 shooting, including 6-of-12 from long-distance, nine rebounds and eight assists -- but a controversial no-call as the All-Star missed a potential game-winning layup at the end of regulation enraged him, which led to Patrick Beverly drawing a technical foul after grabbing a courtside camera to show referee Eric Lewis that James was indeed fouled on the last play.
"I don't understand. I don't understand what we're doing, and I watch basketball every single day," said a dejected James during his postgame comments at his locker. "I watch games every single day and I don't see it happening to nobody else. It's just weird."
Anthony Davis had 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench in only his second game back after missing 20 with a foot injury. Beverly contributed with 15 points (4-of-7 from 3), while former Celtic Dennis Schröder and Lonnie Walker each chipped in 13 points respectively for the Lakers -- who fell to 23-27 on the season.

In a game that had 19 lead changes (six in the fourth quarter alone) and 15 ties, Los Angeles used a 12-5 run to start the final frame, before the Celtics responded with 12-3 spurt of their own to take a 98-96 advantage with 3:09 left in the period.

A Beverly go-ahead 3-pointer and a pair of made free throws by Brogdon tied it up at 102 apiece with 41.1 seconds remaining in regulation. A put-back dunk and connecting on one-of-two free throws by Beverly, set up Brown on his 3-point play to knot it up at 105 before James missed a layup as time expired to force OT.

Tatum hit a free throw due to Beverly drawing a technical foul to start the overtime, giving Boston the lead for good and the start of 10-4 run.
"That was just the craziness of the game," Brown said. "It looked like they might have missed a call on their end toward the end of the game. But that's just life. They'll be all right."
Brown scored or assisted on 25 of the Celtics final 44 points against the Lakers, a huge bounce back from a 8-of-22 performance in an tough 120-117 overtime loss to the New York Knicks at home Thursday night -- where he missed two key free throws with 7.1 seconds left in the extra session that could have put the game away.
"His resiliency to continue and not allow the circumstances to affect his judgment, mindset and his execution -- I thought he was tremendous," said interim coach Joe Mazzulla of Brown's play "I'm just happy for him. The league gives you opportunities to constantly bounce back and he's really got a great mindset."
The Celtics will have a few days off before they host the Brooklyn Nets (30-19) Wednesday night. ESPN has the tip-off at 7:30 ET. 

Game Notes:

Boston was 46.4% from the field, including 32.5% (13-of-40 from deep), while the Lakers were 44.8% from the floor and 28.6% (12-of-42) from long distance. The Celtics were out-rebounded 47-46 and outscored in the paint 62-44. The C's dished out 18 assists on 39 baskets and Los Angeles had 30 dimes on 47 made shots. Both teams committed 12 turnovers each.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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