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Friday, December 26, 2008
There is nothing like Christmas in LA
It was bound to happen sooner or later. The Boston Celtics can't win every game but did it have to end in Los Angeles against the Lakers?
Playing at the Staples Center yesterday afternoon, in front of a national audience on Christmas day, the C's (27-3) had their worst effort in weeks (maybe months) and as a result, lost 92-83 to a fired up Lakers (24-5) team.
Boston's 19-game win streak was snapped as well as their 10-game road win streak.
Boston was only down 71-67 heading into the fourth but LA led by Pau Gasol (20 points, 5 assists, 3 blocks), who scored seven points late, took over when it counted and came away with the big win.
The C's were sloppy all day and committed 17 turnovers as a team. Second in the league in getting to the line, Boston only went 6-for-8 on free throws in the physical game.
Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists and for once, he passed the ball in late game situations. Lamar Odom and Sasha Vujacic scored 10 points apiece off the bench.
Kevin Garnett (9 of 11 shooting) led the Celts with 22 points and nine boards while Paul Pierce had 20 points and 10 rebounds in his return to his hometown. Ray Allen added 14 points.
Rajon Rondo struggled shooting the ball (3 of 11) but he had 12 assists. It was a performance reminiscent of many playoff games last spring when teams didn't have to respect Rondo's scoring ability.
Boston led 24-23 after the first quarter but LA took a 51-45 advantage into halftime. The C's took the third 22-20 before the choke job in the fourth.
There is no time to cry about the loss as the Celtics travel to Golden State tonight to take on the injury-depleted Warriors. Defense will be an issue but Boston should have no trouble hanging 110+ on Golden State.