Recap: Russell Westbrook Leads Dominant Third Quarter To Help Lakers Blowout Celtics
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

After a rough loss to the L.A. Clippers, the Los Angeles Lakers got back on track in convincing fashion, earning a solid 117-102 win over their rivals the Boston Celtics.

Head coach Frank Vogel downsized his starting lineup by starting Avery Bradley instead of Dwight Howard, but the Lakers had no answer for Jayson Tatum, who scored the Celtics’ first 14 points. Los Angeles found most of their offensive success right at the rim, though LeBron James was able to knock down a couple of jumpers to narrow the early deficit.

James completely took over the Laker offense midway through the period and he gave them their first lead of the night off a deep three from the top of the arc. After James sat, the offense experienced a lull and Los Angeles would find themselves down 33-31 after one.

The bench did a good job of keeping the offensive flow going, while James picked up where he left off after hitting another tough jumper. Carmelo Anthony provided a spark with his shooting and rebounding, while Talen Horton-Tucker found Bradley in the corner to give the Laker a five-point lead.

Los Angeles experienced a scoring drought that allowed Boston to retake the lead, though Anthony Davis nailed a floater to tie the game up at 49-49. While Tatum was able to stay hot from the field, the Lakers did well to answer and went into the half leading 60-55.

It was a chilly start to the third as both teams had some trouble getting shots to go down, but the Lakers found their groove attacking the basket to open up a 66-57 advantage. Davis finally got going on both ends and his activity eventually helped L.A. up their lead to 13.

Russell Westbrook began to hit his stride, nailing his first three of the evening and playing with his usual brand of energy to keep the Lakers well in front. Westbrook roused the Staples Center crowd with a vicious dunk and the team was able to walk into the fourth up 91-75.

The Lakers looked well in control as they grew their lead to 20 before the Celtics nailed back-to-back threes to pull within 14. It seemed like Los Angeles started to coast which allowed Boston to hang around though they still maintained a double-digit lead.

Celtics head coach Ime Udoka seemingly waved the white flag when he took out his starters midway through the period, so the Lakers took full advantage and cruised to a victory.

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