Celtics snap 3-game losing streak in OT win over Lakers
The Boston Celtics (36-15, 1st in Eastern Conference) defeat the Los Angeles Lakers (23-26, 13th in Western Conference) 125-121 in Overtime.
The best rivalry in the NBA lived up to the hype.
The new NBA schedule feature debuted this week as "Rivals Week" which highlighted marquee matchups across the league including tonight's Celtics-Lakers game was the "icing on the cake."
Jaylen Brown scored a game-tying three point play with 4 seconds left in the 4th quarter to force overtime. The Celtics would outscore the Lakers 20-16 in
overtime to secure their 36th win.
The refs were the focal point of tonight's outcome after a controversial "no-call" on Lebron James's missed game-winning layup attempt who was clearly slapped on the wrist by Jayson Tatum as time expired.
1. Fountain of Youth
Despite a Lakers loss, The 38-year old Lebron James has taken a dive into the fountain of youth. James scored 41 points on 15-30 field goals. Alongside Tom Brady, Lebron James doesn't age. Being a huge sports geek and fan myself, I think we take for granted a sports figure of greatness right in front of our eyes. We are too busy comparing between James & Michael Jordan that we don't appreciate the "NOW!" LeBron is carrying this depleted Lakers roster night in and night out.
2. Bad Men of Boston
The Celtics were lead by Jaylen Brown (37 points) and Jayson Tatum (30 points) in a BIG win to snap a 3-game losing streak. Both faced adversity in throughout tonight's game. After 13 points in the first half, Brown got into foul trouble and had limited minutes in the 3rd & mid 4th quarter. On the other-hand, Jayson Tatum struggled in the first half to score with 5 points. While Brown sat during the majority of the 3rd quarter, Tatum caught fire and scored 20 points during the period. NOTE: Jaylen Brown is the second best 1 on 1 offensive scorer in the NBA (Luka Dončic is the best).
3. Russell West-BRICK
What is Darvin Ham's game plan with Russell Westbrook? Westbrook has continued to struggle to find his role on the Los Angeles Lakers in his second season. The former 2017 MVP averaged 18.5 points last season as a starter. This season, he has adjusted to a bench role player for the first time in his career (started 3 of 46 games played). Tonight, Westbrook scored 14 points after missing his first six shots from the floor. The inconsistency of his shooting limited Westbrook's minutes to 25 including sitting the majority of the fourth quarter. Westbrook played 4 minutes in overtime & scored 4 points. How will Darvin Ham adjust moving forward?
4. Defense Wins Championships
First year Celtic, Malcolm Brogdon, stole the show tonight with 26 points (15 in second half) & has proven his worth as a key bench player for the Boston Celtics. Offensively, he shot 53.3% from the field including 3-7 from 3 point land. But his on ball defense in critical late fourth quarter possessions when Celtics were trailing including a crucial takeaway from Anthony Davis in the last minute of the 4th quarter were massive to tie and extend the game. With the reigning DPOY Marcus Smart out tonight, Malcolm Brogdon & Grant Williams stepped up defensively combining for 14 defensive rebounds.
The Boston Celtics will have a three day break before they face former Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving and Brooklyn Nets at home on Wednesday February 1.
The Lakers will have a two day break before facing the Brooklyn Nets as well on Tuesday February 2 on the road.
Jackson Groff---------January 28, 2023