In their highly-anticipated first matchup of the 2019-20 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Boston Celtics on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
With Anthony Davis returning from a five-game absence, he and the Lakers got off to an 8-0 lead. While Davis set the tone with two blocks, he unfortunately headed to the bench after picking up two quick fouls.
Without Davis, the Lakers and Celtics went back-and-forth as the latter eventually took a 22-21 lead. However, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope provided a spark off the bench with seven quick points (3-of-3 shooting) as the Lakers only trailed 33-30 after the first quarter despite committing six turnovers.
After Enes Kanter committed a flagrant foul on Davis, the Lakers had some momentum as Rajon Rondo went on a 5-0 run to cut the eight-point deficit to just one. Unfortunately, the Celtics had a response by establishing the biggest lead of the first half (14 points), highlighted by 11 offensive rebounds.
To start the second half, the Celtics extended their lead. Despite Alex Caruso checking in for JaVale McGee early, the Lakers could not change the momentum as Jaylen Brown taunted LeBron James after his strong dunk.
As the Lakers attempted to chip away, the Celtics went on a 14-2 lead to establish a 31-point lead, which was their biggest deficit of the season.
With the Lakers down 24 points heading into the fourth quarter, James and Davis returned to make one final push, but it was simply not their night.
After perhaps their worst loss of the season, the Lakers will prepare for a back-to-back situation against the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets.