The Boston Celtics kicked off their five-game West Coast swing with a 115-95 blowout win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.
The Celtics’ offense was in cruise control seemingly the entire night. The C’s had their way with the Lakers defense and remarkably had six scorers in double figures. Isaiah Thomas posted the team high with 18 points, while Al Horford (17 points), Jaylen Brown (16 points), Avery Bradley (15 points), Jae Crowder (14 points) and Amir Johnson (13 points) all had strong offensive nights.
Jordan Clarkson was a bright spot for Los Angeles, as he posted the game-high with 20 points. D’Angelo Russell (17 points) and Julius Randle (13 points) also scored in double figures for the Lakers.
With the win, the Celtics improve to 40-22, while the Lakers drop to 19-43.
Here’s how it all went down.
HOT START FOR BOSTON
The Celtics got off to a hot start offensively, as they held a 35-26 advantage after one quarter. Johnson had the most well-rounded opening frame for Boston, scoring eight points to go along with three assists and two rebounds. The Lakers were troubled by poor 3-point shooting to start the game, and they posted a 2-for-9 mark from beyond the arc in the first 12 minutes. Crowder was the only player in double figures after the first quarter with 10 points.
Boston posted its highest first-half point total of the season and held a 70-45 lead heading into the break. The C’s hot offense carried over into the second quarter, as the team shot an impressive 51 percent from the field in the first half. Thomas led all scorers at the half with 13 points, while Johnson was right behind with 11 of his own. The most glaring first-half statistic was the difference in free throw attempts. Boston earned 21 trips to the charity stripe — converting on 16 of them — while Los Angeles only attempted five free throws, sinking three.
LAKERS CHIP AWAY
The Celtics extended their lead to as large as 31 points in the third quarter, but the Lakers hung tough. Los Angeles closed the quarter on a 20-4 run and narrowed the deficit to 93-78 heading into the final quarter. Boston appeared to take its foot off the gas pedal, and Los Angeles took full advantage, as it headed into the final frame with all the momentum.
C’s THWART COMEBACK
The Lakers trimmed the deficit to 13 points early in the fourth quarter, but that’s as close as they would get. The Celtics returned to their dominating ways, eliminating any chances of a Lakers comeback. Brown provided high energy for Boston in the fourth quarter, scoring six points and grabbing four rebounds in the frame. With the sizable lead, several Celtics starters were able to get considerable rest, which is critical at this stage in the season.
PLAY OF THE GAME
How did Brown do that?
The Celtics return to action Sunday when they take on the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports Images