Posted February 08, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Los Angeles Lakers
The familiar ''Beat LA!'' chant started in the third quarter.
It's easier to do that now than it was during most of the Lakers-Celtics rivalry. But there's still something special when the teams who have met in a record 12 NBA Finals face each other, even if they've been struggling just to reach the playoffs.
''No matter what direction these teams are going, it'll always be a rivalry,'' Paul Pierce said. ''Everybody's always going to watch.''
On Thursday night, they saw a 116-95 rout by Boston, its biggest win of the season and Los Angeles' worst loss.
The Lakers got Dwight Howard back after he missed three games with a sore right shoulder. He had nine points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes before fouling out with 5:07 left.
''There were a couple times where I felt'' pain in the shoulder, he said. ''I just tried not to think about it.''
But they were without Pau Gasol for the first time since he was diagnosed with a torn plantar fascia in his right foot that will sideline him indefinitely.
Boston was missing two key players, both out for the season. Point guard Rajon Rondo sat out his sixth game with a torn ligament in his right knee and the Celtics have won them all. Rookie forward Jared Sullinger missed his fourth game following back surgery.
In fact, only two active players on each team remained from the 2010 squads that reached the NBA Finals, won in seven games by the Lakers - Pierce and Kevin Garnett for Boston and Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace for Los Angeles.
In 2008, the Celtics won the title in six games over the Lakers. Before that, they met three times in the Larry Bird-Magic Johnson era of the 1980s with Los Angeles winning twice.
''You walk through these hallways when you come in here,'' said Pierce, who scored 12 of his 24 points in the third quarter when Boston pulled away. ''You see the whole rivalry, pictures. You see throughout the decades how it goes, regular season, postseason, championship. It's always going to have that extra little edge to this game.''
But now the Lakers are in 10th place in the West, 3 1/2 games behind the Houston Rockets for the final playoff spot in the conference despite winning six of their last eight games. The Celtics broke a seventh-place tie with the Milwaukee Bucks in the East and trail the Atlanta Hawks by just 1 1/2 games for sixth.
They've moved up without their star point guard.
''Our guys just think they're good,'' Boston coach Doc Rivers said. ''We're playing selfless and free.''
The Lakers aren't passing the ball well enough with just 16 assists on Thursday or shooting accurately with just a 41.4 field goal percentage against the Celtics.
''For whatever reason, we didn't come out real sharp,'' Los Angeles coach Mike D'Antoni said. ''Defensively, it was disappointing that we didn't fight as hard as we've been fighting.''
Jeff Green scored 19 points for the Celtics and Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry had 15 each. Garnett became the 16th player in NBA history to score 25,000 points.
Without Rondo controlling the ball, the Celtics are concentrating on moving it quickly and shooting it when they're open. The Lakers gave them plenty of unchallenged shots.
''The roof just kind of caved in on us and it gave them a lot of transition points and easy baskets,'' said Bryant, who had 27 points. ''They were hot. I can't really remember them missing a shot in the third quarter.''
They actually missed five. But they made 16, outscored the Lakers 37-25 and ended the period with a 95-69 lead.
''I said to the guys at halftime (if) we rebound the ball a little bit better, we can get out and run and open this game up and I thought that's exactly what we did in the third.''
The Lakers cut a 58-44 halftime deficit to 72-61 with 5:07 left in the third quarter, but they came no closer as the Celtics went on a 23-8 run to build their 26-point lead going into the fourth. Pierce started the surge with a three-point play and ended it with a 3-pointer with 41 seconds left.
''The first half was just as bad as the second,'' said Lakers point guard Steve Nash, who had just nine points and five assists. ''Disappointing performance, start to finish.''
Perhaps, but to Pierce it was pretty special, another chapter in the rich rivalry.
''It always feels good when you can give them a little old-fashioned beatdown in your house,'' he said, ''no matter what direction these teams are going.''
Notes: The Celtics had just nine turnovers to 13 for the Lakers. ... Boston made five of 11 shots from 3-point range. The Lakers were just 5 for 23 and missed 12 of 30 free throws with Howard missing five of six. ... Boston plays at home Sunday for the sixth time in seven games when it meets the Denver Nuggets. ... The Lakers are 3-2 on their seven-game road trip, which continues Friday night in Charlotte and ends Sunday in Miami. ... Six Celtics scored in double figures, the fifth straight game in which they had at least five.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
If you missed this game, wow I feel bad for you. Tonight was a vintage Paul Pierce game, led by an offensive explosion in the third quarter. The first half played at a much slower pace, dominated by the refs but the Celtics had the game in their control all night. Pierce led the Celtics with 24 and Bean was the leading scorer for the Flakers with 27. The Truth was obviously jacked...
Six straight wins have lifted the Celtics three games over .500, and into 7th place in the Eastern Conference. Not ideal playoff position by many stretch, but the team has flourished since losing Rajon Rondo for the season, and it seems they've done enough to impress team President Danny Ainge. According to Ric Bucher, Ainge has taken note of the recent stretch, propelled by...
BOSTON — This was not just another game. When the Celtics and Lakers play, even if their cumulative records are below .500 and their seasons have been more disappointing than triumphant, nobody in green or purple tries to give the old sports trope about every game counting the same. This game means a little extra, especially to Paul Pierce, born and raised in Inglewood, Calif....
The Boston Celtics have won their last 5 games since Rondo went down with a torn ACL. The general consensus was that without Rondo and the advanced age of the Celtics, hopes of a title this season are effectively older. Celts head coach Doc Rivers said not to count the team out but at least one member of the franchise has acknowledged that he’s not willing to apart of a team that’s...
When Celtics All Star Rajon Rondo was lost to a season ending injury he was dominating the NBA in triple doubles, even posting one in each of his final two games. In Boston’s first contest without Rondo, Paul Pierce managed a trible double of his own. During the C’s 5 game winning streak Pierce has continually put up some very Rondo-esque numbers. His scoring is down...
Do you get tired of watching Gary Tanguay try to make sense of what Donny Marshall is saying?
Ever sit in front of your television just flipping channels for the thirty minutes before the Celtics play?
No idea what to watch?
What to do?
How to act?
Do you find yourself laying face down mumbling about Blue Edwards and Nick Van Exel?
Have you ever spent...
Sure, the rumors are fun, but Celtics President of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge, shot them down Thursday when asked about the much talked about trade assets, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. He stated comfortably, that the most likely scenario is that the two will not be traded at the deadline.
According to ESPN:
On if he’s comfortable saying that Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce...
Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers says the recent trade rumors around the teams star players have all been made up by the media. "All from [the media]," the Celtics' coach said
Tip: 8PM Court: TD Garden Watch it: TNT Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Monty McCutchen, Nick Buchert and Ed Malloy
Boston Celtics Tickets
At home: 17-9
On road: 8-16
Streak: Won 5
Streak: Won 3
Buckets: Pierce (18.5 ppg)
Buckets: Kobe Bryant (27.6 ppg)
Boards: Garnett (7.4 rpg)
Good win for the Celtics. They pulled it out in the end. The Raptors fans are always active on their game threads. They complained about their own players a whole lot more than the Celtics though. I can never get used to fans wishing an injury on a player. It's just so wrong. It's also amazing that probably half of the teams in the league hate their coaches. My...
Celtics 99, Raptors 95
Earlier this week Kevin Garnett responded to rumors that the Celtics core players may be traded with a simple, defiant phrase. He told reporters, “I bleed green” and in Boston’s fifth consecutive win at Toronto on Wednesday night, he proved it. Garnett posted a vintage line with 27 points and 10 rebounds in 32 minutes, while shooting an efficient 11-18...
Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“I’ve watched a couple highlights with (Gay) and (DeMar) DeRozan and they seem pretty explosive,” said Paul Pierce. “I’ve seen them put up some numbers… So when you add a talent like Rudy Gay to go along...
Tip: 7PM Court: Air Canada Centre Watch it: CSN Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Bennie Adams, Brent Barnaky and Pat Fraher
Spread: TOR -3.0
Boston Celtics Tickets
On road: 7-14
At home: 12-12
Streak: Won 4
Streak: Lost 1
Buckets: Pierce (18.6 ppg)
Buckets: DeMar DeRozan (17.6 ppg)
I love beating the Lakers. It's even better when the win is a humiliating blow out. The Lakers were jubilant when the Celtics got called for 5 fouls inside of 30 seconds to start the game but when the calls started to even out, they started crying and whining about it. Of course, there were multiple wheelchair references. And I got the feeling that most Lakers fans...
The Celtics handily defeated the L.A. Lakers in Boston TD Garden Thursday night by a score of 116-95! A game that saw Celtics star Kevin Garnett reach the 25,000 Pt. level and be listed as the 16th top NBA scorer of all time.
However, even KG himself would say the more important story was that the Celtics gelled well, played tough defense, and maintained balanced team basketball...