Final, Celtics 87-86: The starting five on the floor dominating on defense against the defending champs. That’s a sight for sore Celtics eyes.
Derek Fisher’s attempt at the buzzer is way off, with some solid D played there by Ray Allen.
The Green give up 13 straight points early in the fourth but completely slam the door after that and survive for what has to be one of the best wins of the season.
Allen scores 24 points and Rajon Rondo has 14 points, 11 assists and five steals as Boston improves to 2-0 on this West Coast swing. The trip continues Friday in Portland. The tip for that one is 10:30 p.m. and we’ll be tracking it all right here, perhaps even getting a look at Nate Robinson in uniform.
Fourth quarter, 2.2 seconds, Celtics 87-86: What a bizarre sequence.
Paul Pierce goes into a crowd and doesn’t get a foul. Lamar Odom comes out of the pack with the ball and races the length of the floor before scooping up a shot that looked as if it might fall in at the buzzer, giving the Lakers another dramatic win over the Celtics.
The shot rolled off but somewhere in there, L.A. called a timeout, so we have 2.2 left in the game.
Fourth quarter, 31.3 seconds, Celtics 87-86: Nice defensive play by Ray Allen but a poor decision by Pau Gasol right there.
Fourth quarter, 1:10, Celtics 87-86: We are limping to the finish as both teams are showing their fatigue. Shot after shot on both sides are way off, a sure sign of tired legs.
The C’s have a huge possession here after the timeout. Everyone has cooled off so it’s tough to pick an option here, but perhaps a pick-and-roll with Rondo and Garnett can open something up.
Fourth quarter, 3:16, Celtics 85-84: Paul Pierce picks an awful time to miss two free throws. He has not looked good on the offensive end this quarter.
But in a bit of a twist, Kendrick Perkins, who has been delegated to the bench at the end of games of late, is having himself a great finish. He has the Celtics’ last five points and just put Ron Artest’s latest shot into the stands.
Fourth quarter, 4:00, Celtics 85-84: With one second on the shot clock Ray Allen throws up a layup that falls off the rim, but Kendrick Perkins is able to follow with a slam and the C’s regain the lead.
It has not been pretty but they’ve scored the game’s last five points to calm things down a bit here.
Fourth quarter, 5:55, Lakers 84-83: Here’s a good test for Kevin Garnett’s explosiveness, or lack thereof. He’ll be going up against Lamar Odom in a big jump ball after the timeout.
Fourth quarter, 6:12, Lakers 84-83: Big hoop for Kendrick Perkins on a feed from Rajon Rondo, who now has 11 assists. The Celts really needed that after 13 straight Lakers points.
Fourth quarter, 7:53, 80-80: That was nine straight points in less than two minutes for the Lakers. In the stretch, the Celtics had two shots blocked and two others qualify as legitimate bricks.
We’ve seen this before. The ball movement suffers and the one-on-one stuff takes over, with little success.
Fourth quarter, 8:00, 80-80: The C’s offense has just disappeared and in a heartbeat we are tied.
Fourth quarter, 10:50, Celtics 76-71: Good substitution by Doc Rivers to get Paul Pierce out of there. The captain looked a bit gassed and was chucking up some ugliness.
End of third quarter, Celtics 76-69: Kendrick Perkins chucks one up from well beyond halfcourt and nearly breaks the shot clock. It’s actually a good thing the clock was there because they’d probably be carrying a fan out on a gurney if it wasn’t — that thing had some serious mustard on it.
Anyway, 12 big minutes here for the C’s, who are in dire need of a signature win. I know Kobe Bryant is not playing but if you beat the defending champs on their own floor, well, that’s something to hang your hat on.
Third quarter, 3:10, Celtics 74-66: There you go, Rasheed. Nothing like picking up a technical foul while holding an eight-point lead on the road against the defending champs.
Fortunately for Wallace and the Celtics the Lakers missed the free throw, but there is no need to give L.A. a reason to get fired up.
Third quarter, 5:34, Celtics 70-60: Shannon Brown is coming off the best game of his career and hit a 3-pointer to beat the buzzer in the first quarter. But he’s done little since and is getting taken to school by Ray Allen.
Brown has six points and two turnovers in 26 minutes. Allen is up to 22 points on 9-of-10 shooting.
Third quarter, 6:33, Celtics 68-59: Among the criticisms levied on Rasheed Wallace this season has been a lack of defensive rebounding. In the first minute after he replaced Kevin Garnett here in the third quarter, Andrew Bynum grabbed two offensive boards against him.
Third quarter, 8:22, Celtics 66-55: Moments after a dunk inside Kevin Garnett is called for his fourth foul and needs to take a seat. KG is looking pretty good tonight on that leg.
Third quarter, 10:10, Celtics 61-51: In what has been a game of runs, the Celtics open up with eight of the first 11 points of the second half and Ray Allen remains hot.
If body language means anything, Allen looks more relaxed than he has been in months. He’s just rolling off screens and popping without effort, making 7 of 8 shots in the process.
Third quarter, 11:55, Celtics 53-48: Just underway in the third quarter.
The Celtics are 24-13 when leading at the break. It just seems a lot worse, doesn’t it? I think that’s because in some of those 13 losses the lead was still double digits well into the third quarter before things would fall apart.
Halftime, Celtics 53-48: The Celtics shoot 56.4 percent from the floor and have a 24-20 advantage on the boards but are up just five due to eight turnovers and nine fewer trips to the line than the Lakers.
But you have to like the way the C’s played in some stretches there, moving the ball as well as they have all season. It looks a bit like the last time the teams met, when Boston appeared unbeatable during portions of the game but never got enough separation. We know how that one ended.
We’re back in a bit to see how this one shakes out.
Second quarter, 29.9 seconds, 51-46: Now Paul Pierce is grimacing as he goes to the sidelines holding his right wrist. Ed Lacerte is taking a look but it appears as if Pierce will stay in the game.
Second quarter, 2:37, Celtics 49-43: The Lakers are on a 7-2 run, and two of the points came on a Ron Artest drive to the hoop that developed so slowly it was as if he was running in sand, yet still, nobody stopped him. In an otherwise solid effort, the C’s have been victimized inside since the start.
Second quarter, 5:09, Celtics 47-37: Rajon Rondo just picked up a technical foul for taunting, but who can blame him? He just had back-to-back steals and fed Ray Allen for an emphatic dunk and a foul, part of a 15-2 run by the C’s.
Second quarter, 5:57, Celtics 41-36: Tony Allen is getting some work done on what looks like his right foot. He doesn’t appear to be in any great pain so you would hope he can return. The C’s are already thin on the bench.
Second quarter, 7:03, Celtics 41-34 : Nice answer here by the Celtics, who score nine straight points after the Lakers took their first lead of the game.
Interesting that the burst took place after Rajon Rondo came back in. The second unit stalled this time with Marquis Daniels running point. Maybe proof that someone like Nate Robinson is needed.
Second quarter, 8:50, 34-34: In case some of you were wondering how the Celtics magically gained a point during the break between quarters, it appears as if a Ray Allen jumper late in the first was changed to a 3-pointer.
It gives Allen 10 points in the quarter.
Second quarter, 9:39, Lakers 33-32: The second quarter starts as the first one ended, and the Lakers are on a roll. A Ron Artest steal and dunk gives the hosts their first lead.
Rajon Rondo has to come back in about seven minutes earlier than he was forced to return in the second quarter Tuesday.
End of first quarter, Celtics 29-27: Shannon Brown is making the most of this Kobe Bryant-less stretch. In his fourth straight start he ends the first quarter with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to pull the Lakers within two.
L.A. scored the last seven points of the quarter, a run which came after most of the Celtics reserves trickled in.
First quarter, 1:21, Celtics 29-22: Maybe Ray Allen just needed to get through the trade deadline to get that stroke back. He’s 4-of-4 thus far.
First quarter, 2:59, Celtics 27-20: Andrew Bynum was a bear when these teams met on Jan. 31 and he’s able to get an offensive rebound, a basket and a foul to end a mini-run for the Celtics.
Bynum’s 19 points against the C’s at the Garden included some of the 50 points in the paint the Lakers had in that game. Among Boston opponents only San Antonio way back on Dec. 3 had more points in the paint with 52.
First quarter, 3:20, Celtics 27-18: The C’s have hit seven straight shots after Ray Allen comes off a screen and nails an 18-footer. Allen has seven points.
First quarter, 5:46, Celtics 19-12: The C’s are 7-of-10 from the floor and in that are a pair of buckets for Kendrick Perkins, which is notable in that Perk has quietly been in a big slump on the offensive end of the floor.
The center has scored a grand total of 18 points in his last four games, shooting 6-of-20. This from the NBA’s field goal percentage leader (60.8 percent entering the game).
Perkins has often taken criticism for taking an extra dribble or spending too much time gathering himself before going up. That’s certainly been the case, but there almost seems to be a mental component bugging him of late. He’s been very tentative around the basket and it’s hurt him at times.
First quarter, 8:30, Celtics 11-2: What a start for the C’s here as they open up fast. Ray Allen’s 3-pointer caps a 7-0 run.
Rajon Rondo already has six points and a steal.
First quarter, 11:55, 0-0: We are underway at Staples Center in what should be an intriguing affair, what with both teams playing with some shuffled rotations.
For the C’s, head coach Doc Rivers likely had given thought to the minutes his starters would play even before the bench lost a key cog in Eddie House. There’s a game in Portland on Friday night to contend with.
When the reserves put together an absolutely dominant stretch of basketball in the second quarter of Tuesday’s win at Sacramento, Rivers was able to keep guys like Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo on the bench until the last two or three minutes of the half, much longer than we are accustomed to.
10:38 p.m.: As we await the tip in this one, we can take a quick peak at the starting lineups.
The Celtics go with the lineup which has amassed a record of 110-33: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins.
Los Angeles will start Derek Fisher, Shannon Brown, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.
10:10 p.m.: No Eddie House for the Celtics, but no Kobe Bryant for the Lakers. Now there’s a trade the C’s would make any day.
According to reports, Bryant will miss his fifth straight game with a sprained left ankle. Before anyone puts this one in the books as a Celtics win, remember that L.A. has won all four games without Bryant by at least 10 points.
Shannon Brown has started the last three of those, including Tuesday night against Golden State when he had career highs in points (27) and rebounds (10). Another tough matchup for Ray Allen.
8:17 p.m.: There probably aren’t many Celtics fans who are unaware of this, but in case you don’t know, Eddie House has been shipped to New York for Nate Washington, pending league approval.
J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker will also be traded, and rookie forward Marcus Landry is part of the package coming Boston’s way.
My quick two cents on the deal is this: While the Celtics just became a more athletic team and now have a viable point guard to back up Rajon Rondo, House was a glue guy, an incredibly clutch shooter and someone who, for all his limitations, took care of the ball and always played hard. Robinson may give you 24 points one night, two the next and some question his attitude.
So while the deal should help the C’s in some ways, it’s not a slam dunk (pun very much intended). I think we’ll need some time to know if Boston has improved itself.
Still no concrete word out of Los Angeles on whether Kobe Bryant will play but we’ll fill you in when we know.
2:09 p.m.: As we await final word on the rumored Eddie House-Nate Robinson trade, the Celtics await the rival Lakers, who in turn await the return of Kobe Bryant.Bryant remains a question mark with a sprained left ankle which has robbed him of four straight games. He told reporters after Wednesday’s practice that he was doubtful for Thursday’s game but would see how he felt once he woke up.
The superstar, of course, ended an otherwise poor performance with a jumper in the last seconds to beat Boston back on Jan. 31. That gave the C’s three straight losses at the time. They are 4-2 since after a 95-92 win at Sacramento on Tuesday.
House, whose deal to the Knicks is expected to go through before today’s 3 p.m. trade deadline, had four 3-pointers to pace a solid effort by Boston’s bench. The reserves scored 44 points.
We will update you throughout the day on the House and Bryant situations. No matter who shows up for the 10:30 tip, it’s bound to be a good one.