The Los Angeles Lakers washed away the bad taste in their mouths from earlier in the season by serving up a convincing win over their rivals in the Boston Celtics.
Things got off to a rocky start for the Lakers as they had trouble defending Jaysom Tatum, who scored the Celtics’ first 14 points. However, LeBron James made sure Los Angeles did not let the game get away from them, catching fire from the field and scoring 16 points in the period, which was season-high for him in a quarter.
James would finish the night with a team-high 30 points to go along with five assists and four rebounds.
While the first half was a close-knit contest between the two teams, it quickly turned in Los Angeles’ favor in the second half as Russell Westbrook turned on the jets. Westbrook was everywhere on the court, driving hard to the basket and making plays defensively to finally give the Lakers some breathing room.
The highlight of the night came in the third when Westbrook drove hard into the paint and finished a vicious dunk that got the Staples Center crowd up on their feet. The star guard recorded a double-double, scoring 24 points and dishing out 11 dimes while limiting his turnovers to just four.
Anthony Davis got off to a slow start as he struggled to convert from the field and had trouble keeping up with Robert Williams, who seemingly tried to posterize him on every lob attempt. However, Davis eventually got going on both ends of the floor and his activity alongside Westbrook is what really helped put the game away. He ended his evening with a solid 17-point, 16-rebound double-double.
While the Big 3 for the Lakers drove home the win, the role players each had their moments to keep the Celtics from ever getting too close. Talen Horton-Tucker pitched in with 12 points, while Malik Monk led the bench with 10 points.
Monk produced his own highlight when he found himself alone on a fast break and threw down a windmill slam that forced a Celtics timeout.
For Boston, Tatum led the way with a game-high 34 points, while Williams was their next-highest scorer with 13 points. With the Celtics playing again on Wednesday, Boston head coach Ime Udoka took out his starters midway through the fourth, which allowed Los Angeles to easily take home the win.
Next up for the Lakers
The Lakers hit the road for a quick back-to-back set against the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder. Coming off this impressive win against Boston, Los Angeles has a real chance to build some momentum and hopefully turn things around after the disappointing start to this season.
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