Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Celtics 126, Lakers 115: Kristaps Porzingis, Jayson Tatum combine for 53 in Christmas Day win

The Celtics wrapped up their four-game west road trip with a 126-115 Christmas Day victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at Crypto.com Arena.

Kristaps Porzingis returned to the lineup from a left ankle sprain, to finished with 28 points (11-of-19 shooting), 11 rebounds while Jayson Tatum had 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to lead Boston -- who are a league-best 23-6 on the season.

Jaylen Brown added 19 points, Derrick White notched a double-double of 18 points (8-of-18 from the field), 11 assists and Jrue Holiday also netted 18 points to go along with seven rebounds, seven assists in the team's third straight win and 12 over the last 14.
"Honestly, we all know that if we push the pace one of us is gonna get a shot. And I feel like when we have that energy and you know if I run to my spot and I run to my lanes I'm gonna get the ball, it just makes everybody do it and do it that much harder," Holiday said in his postgame comments.
Anthony Davis had a game-high 40 points, 13 rebounds to lead the Lakers -- who dropped to 16-15 overall. Taurean Prince scored 17 points and LeBron James struggled on 5-of-14 from the floor for 16 points, but grabbed nine rebounds and handed out eight assists in the team's sixth loss over their past eight since wining the inaugural In-Season Tournament.

In only the third X-mas matchup in this historic rivalry, Boston scored the game's first 12 points and were ahead by as many as 18 in the opening quarter.

The Lakers fought back in the second on 23-15 spurt to get within one with 4:51 remaining in the half and trailed 58-57 at the break. 

Los Angeles took their first lead of the night on a James layup to open the third in a back and forth over the next three-plus minutes, before the C's used a 11-3 run to stay in front for good.

Boston had a 99-90 advantage heading into the final frame, but the home team never got any closer than seven the rest of the way, as the Celtics pushed the deficit to 14 (121-107) on a Porzingis offensive rebound and dunk with 2:57 left to play.

Despite Boston making only 13 from beyond the arc on 42 attempts (31%), a far cry from their previous two games against the Clippers (22-of-42) and Kings (25-of-53) for 49.4% on made 3s, they were able maintain a double-digit lead to hold off the Lakers 
"Very happy about the game we had as a team," Porzingis said to reporters. "And honestly we played really good basketball. We just did not make or we did not shoot what we normally shoot from outside. But other than that, I think we played really well."
The Celtics return home to host the Detroit Pistons (2-27) Thursday at TD Garden on a first night of a back-to-back.

Game Notes:

Boston hit 50.5% from the field, while the Lakers were 47.8% from the floor and 13-of-32 (40.6%) from 3-point range. The Celtics won the rebound battle 44-43 and outscored L.A. in the paint 58-50. The C's handed out 31 assists (eight turnovers) on 46 baskets, while Los Angeles had 24 dimes (12 turnovers) on 43 made shots.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of The Associated Press

No comments:

Post a Comment