This was a hell of a game.
The Lakers seemingly had another game in hand (well, after the Celtics had seemingly put it away themselves). But they had yet another collapse. Boston staged their own comeback and came away with the win in an extra period, 122-118.
Boston came out and pounced on the Lakers immediately. They didn’t look like a tired team to start it out (they played against the Clippers the night before). They got off to a 15-5 start and couldn’t miss any of their shots. The Lakers looked lackadaisical and it felt like they wanted to be anywhere other than Crypto.com Arena.
This would continue throughout the first half and into the third quarter. Jayson Tatum was dominant and a three-pointer would put them up 20. Later on, Marcus Smart would make a three to keep an 84-65 lead. It looked like the Celtics were going to run away with this game.
The Lakers somehow woke up. They were flying all over defensively. Boston started playing a lot more one-on-one. And the fatigue finally had caught up to them then. L.A. went on a massive 33-6 run, which included this amazing LeBron James dunk.
This dude is in his 20th year in the league.
The Lakers kept pouring it on and they looked like they were going to run away from the game. They were up, 106-93, with under four minutes left.
But the Celtics quickly scored five points after a Grant Williams three and a quick steal and lay-up by Marcus Smart. Suddenly, the game was back to single digits. Both teams would trade baskets for a while before the Lakers started settling for jumpers. Smart’s three-pointer would cut the lead to 110-108.
Anthony Davis got fouled with 28 seconds left in regulation. He had a chance to give the Lakers a four-point cushion but he missed free throws late in the game again. Tatum would come down the court and tie it with a jumper. LeBron’s attempt of a game-winner missed badly and the teams went an extra five minutes.
Russell Westbrook did his best to carry the Lakers with a tired LeBron and Davis on fumes. He made the first two buckets in overtime. Grant Williams made a three to take the lead. The Celtics never relinquished the lead again. Tatum and Jaylen Brown made sure of that by making clutch baskets. The deficit was whittled to four with under 30 seconds left. Brown missed his own two free throws but Austin Reaves missed a three in the ensuing possession. The Celtics end their road trip with a win over their hated rivals.
We were getting ready to talk about how the Celtics collapsed and that this is another signature win for the Lakers. Instead, this collapse is making us talk about how the Celtics are resilient while the Lakers seem to can’t get it done late in games. They fell in the final seconds against Portland. They fell apart against the Pacers. We mentioned them not completing a comeback against Philly and now this. 15-12 looks so much better than 11-16 and that’s how close they are to that.
The Lakers seemed to relax a bit after being up 13 late in the game. They were careless and started settling for jumpers. They were also probably tired but Darvin Ham probably didn’t want to take any chances. The Celtics looked ragged themselves after their big lead but they got a second wind. Gotta love those young legs.
Jayson Tatum ended with 44 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. That dude is a stud. But you already know that. His running mate, Jaylen Brown, went for 25 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, and three steals. Marcus Smart made some big plays on the way to an 18-5-6 performance.
On the Lakers’ side, Anthony Davis had another monster game at 37 points and 12 boards but those free throws will certainly linger in his mind. LeBron fell short of a triple-double with 33-9-9. Russell Westbrook was atrocious in the first half but ended up being a huge key in their comeback that fell short. He had 20 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, and four blocks. He packed Jaylen Brown quite a bit in this game.
In the end, the Lakers have lost four of five games. They’re now at 11-16. But they’ll get to rest until Friday; they really seem to need it. Boston stops their two-game skid and go to 22-7, still the best record in the league.
At least, Lakers vs Celtics still provides excitement today. It’s not often you see two major collapses in an NBA game.
It’s just too bad that the good guys in Los Angeles didn’t win.