After being blown out 139-107 in Boston, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to get a hard-fought, 114-112 win over the Celtics on Sunday at Staples Center.
The Lakers got off to a hot start and led by as much as 11 points, but the Celtics were able to close the gap pretty quickly thanks to Jayson Tatum, who tied his career-high for points in a game with 41 points on an efficient 12-20 shooting from the field. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope did his best to keep Tatum honest, but he’s just not big enough to guard big wings like Tatum or Kawhi Leonard, as we’ve seen twice this season. Hopefully the addition of Markieff Morris helps them in that regard.
However, as dominant as Tatum was for Boston, the Lakers had enough firepower between their two superstar forwards — LeBron James and Anthony Davis — to counter his big night. On Sunday, Davis and James combined for 61 points, 21 rebounds and 12 assists, with James leading them both with 9 assists. When both of them have it going, they’re a really, really tough team to beat.
The Lakers also got some solid production from their bench unit, especially from Rajon Rondo, who played arguably his best defensive game of his time in Los Angeles. He ended the night with a plus-minus of +13, which was second only to Kyle Kuzma (+17), who looked sharper than usual on the defensive end himself.
I guess the Lakers-Celtics rivalry still brings out the best in both teams.
The Lakers will return to action on Tuesday to take on the Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday. Before that, though, Staples Center will host a memorial for Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the seven other victims that tragically died in the helicopter crash in Calabasas last month on Monday. Coverage of the memorial start at 9 a.m. on ABC7.
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