More than a week’s worth of Anthony Davis trade speculation was put to bed by the time the Los Angeles Lakers took the court at TD Garden to face the Boston Celtics. And while there was better effort than in the blowout loss to the Indiana Pacers, the Lakers fell behind early.
Their deficit swelled to as many as 18 points before the comeback effort began. LeBron James and Lance Stephenson spearheaded the attack, with each contributing 14 points by halftime. Kyle Kuzma then erupted for 14 points in the third quarter to give the Lakers a momentary lead.
That slipped out of their hands in the fourth but L.A. managed to string together another comeback. Then down to their final possession and without a timeout, Rajon Rondo got to a loose ball to sink a game-winning jump shot from the elbow at the buzzer.
“Just get it up. It’s that simple,” Rondo explained his thought process was as he stepped into the jumper. “Tyson did a helluva job on the offensive tip, Kuz hit the shot before to tie it up, so it was a collective team effort.”
The basket was Rondo’s only of the fourth quarter. Yet, it was one that’s quite familiar to him. “I practice those shots all the time,” Rondo said.
It can be reasoned he did so thousands of times during his career with the Celtics. Although Rondo was making his first visit to Boston as a member of the hated Lakers, he was received with loud cheers during pregame introductions.
“It definitely feels surreal,” he said of making his first career game-winner. “I haven’t watched the replay yet, but this is one I’ll be playing for the rest of my life.”
Rondo was immediately mobbed by teammates and his 7-year-old son who attended the game and sat on the bench. While most may not recall the details of a jubilant celebration, Rondo maintained he would.
“I remember,” he said. “I won’t forget that.”
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