LOS ANGELES – Several factors led the Lakers to drop their Christmas Day game against the Boston Celtics 126-115 at Crypto.com Arena.
One of the main ones: When the Celtics’ star duo wasn’t at their best, their supporting cast provided enough firepower to keep Boston ahead.
Struggling with an early deficit and an unusual shooting performance from LeBron James (16 points on 5 of 14 shots, nine rebounds and eight assists in 37 minutes), the Lakers (16-15) did not have enough power of fire to keep up. with the Celtics (23-6), who entered Monday with a top-five offensive ranking.
Anthony Davis finished with a game-high 40 points (15 of 26), 13 rebounds and three assists in 39 minutes, but his performance was overshadowed by the depth of the Celtics’ offensive performance.
Boston, led by Kristaps Porzingis with 28 points and 11 rebounds, had six players score in double figures, including their entire starting lineup scoring at least 18. Jayson Tatum scored 25 points (6 of 15 shooting). , eight rebounds and seven assists while Jaylen Brown finished with 19 points on 7-of-17 shooting.
The Celtics’ starting backcourt consists of Derrick White (18 points, 11 assists, two steals and two blocks) and Jrue Holiday (18 points and seven assists) combined for 36 points and 18 assists.
The Lakers, starting the lineup of James, Davis, Taurean Prince, Cam Reddish and Jarred Vanderbilt for the second straight game, fell behind early on. The Celtics scored 12 unanswered points to open the game before Reddish made a 3-pointer for the Lakers’ first basket three minutes into the game.
Boston’s lead grew to 30-12 late in the first half, with the Lakers closing the quarter on a 9-0 run to take a nine-point deficit into the second.
The Lakers gained momentum in the second quarter, winning the quarter 34-26 to cut their deficit to 58-57 at halftime. James appeared to suffer a left knee injury while guarding Brown in the second when Brown tripped coming off a screen while James was trailing, with James accidentally kneeing Brown in the back.
James withdrew from the game before quickly re-entering, but was unsuccessful from there. He made just four of his 11 shots inside the paint.
The Celtics made 12 of 14 free throws in the third to take a 99-90 lead heading into the fourth — a quarter that Boston led by at least seven.
The Lakers will have Tuesday off before facing the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday.
More to come on this story.
California Daily Newspapers