There’s a new all-time winningest regular-season NBA franchise, and it hails from TD Garden.
The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers both entered Friday’s game with 3,252 wins, which meant one of the two rivals had to make history. And the C’s did just that with 113-107 victory.
Isaiah Thomas once again led the way with 38 points, while Jae Crowder (18 points, six rebounds), Jaylen Brown (12 points, seven rebounds), Al Horford (11 points, eight rebounds, eight assists) and Terry Rozier (10 points) all reached double-figures for the C’s. Marcus Smart added five steals.
With their sixth consecutive win, Boston improved to 32-18, while Los Angeles dropped to 17-36. And it turned out Brad Stevens didn’t even need the victory to coach the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game, as the Toronto Raptors lost 102-94 to the Orlando Magic. But we’re going to guess he’s OK with the win, too.
Here’s how it all went down.
Isaiah Thomas, Jaylen Brown, Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, Al Horford
The C’s got out to a quick 7-0 lead, but the Lakers responded with a 7-2 run. The difference in the first quarter was when Nick Young and D’Angelo Russell combined to make four straight 3-pointers in a 12-3 L.A. run. Los Angeles then went up by as many as five points, but a Rozier 3-pointer at the buzzer made it 30-29 Lakers after the first 12 minutes,
Thomas wasted no time making an impact in this one with 12 first-quarter points, while Russell and Young both led the Lakers with nine points.
Thomas didn’t score in the second quarter until his layup in the closing seconds, but that didn’t matter because his teammates stepped up in a big way.
Kelly Olynyk, Smart, Rozier and Brown (who once again started in Avery Bradley’s absence) combined to score the Celtics’ first 19 points in the second quarter, and Crowder then scored eight of Boston’s next 11 points. As a result, the C’s enjoyed a 62-51 lead at the break.
The C’s had a great start offensively with 62 points in the first half, but the third quarter was a different story. Boston only scored 20 points in the frame, which allowed L.A. to creep back into the game and trail 82-74 heading into the fourth quarter. The C’s did have an 80-63 lead at one point because L.A. wasn’t exactly lighting it up from the floor either, but the Lakers went on an 11-2 run to close the frame.
KING OF THE FOURTH
The Celtics didn’t need the same fourth-quarter heroics from Thomas that they received the past two games, but he still lived up to his new nickname. Thomas scored Boston’s first eight points in the fourth, and ended up scoring 17 points in the frame to prevent a Los Angeles comeback.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Smart and Olynyk will make the highlight reels with this play:
Make sure you have your tissues ready for the Celtics’ matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, because it’s sure to be an emotional one. Former Celtics great Paul Pierce will return for his final regular-season game in Boston. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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