Starting point guard Jordan Clarkson led the way for the Lakers early, scoring a quick 5 points on 2-3 shooting in 8 first quarter minutes, but it was not enough to overcome Isaiah Thomas continuing his Lakers killer ways in his Celtics debut. Thomas had a quick 8 points on 3-4 shooting to lead the Celtics to a 32-26 lead after one.
After not playing a second in the first quarter and looking to be on his way to a DNP (Byron's Rotations), Jeremy Lin rampaged past a hapless Celtics defense in the second quarter for 12 points on 4-5 shooting in the second to aid the Lakers in coming back and cutting the halftime deficit to 58-56.
Isaiah Thomas (21 points, 6-13, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals) got two technicals halfway through the 4th quarter after he disagreed with the officials, and he was the only Celtic playing very well. Jeremy Lin (25 points on 15 shots with 6 assists and only 1 turnover) appeared to put it away after that, putting the finishing touches on one of his best games of the season and his Lakers career high in scoring.
A couple of late turnovers later, and what was a 9 point Lakers lead was cut to just 2. The Celtics hit 2 three pointers to send the game to OT despite hometown kid Nick Young (19 points on 9 shots, and as is typical of Young, no more than 1 in any other box score category) sinking 4 clutch free throws when Boston intentionally fouled.
Los Angeles scored the first 6 points in over time and outscored the Celtics by 7 points in the period to send the Celtics out of Staples Center as "Hit the Road Jack" played over the loudspeakers.
LA struggled with turnovers on the night, coughing up the ball 17 times compared to their season average of 13 turnovers, which partially explains their late near-collapse. Also notable were the only Lakers who are likely to be a part of the team's future (Kelly, Clarkson, and Black) not playing a minute of the fourth quarter and over time.
This win undoubtedly hurts the Lakers lottery odds, but fans would be excused for relishing a victory over the hated Celtics. The Lakers snapped their 7 game losing streak, and head to Utah Wednesday for their next game.
Bonus: Carlos Boozer Nightmare Fuel of the Night