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Friday, February 11, 2011

Lakers beat Celtics on Ray Ray's big night

The fans that packed the TD Garden last night got what they wanted: Ray Allen broke Reggie Miller's NBA record for 3-pointers with a pair in the first quarter but the game (an afterthought) didn't turn out as perfectly as the Lakers won 96-92 in their only regular season visit to Boston.

It was a nice moment even though they didn't stop the game right away which was puzzling. The usually emotionless Ray got to hug Miller (commentating for TNT) and his family who were all courtside.

Buoyed by the momentum of Allen's (20 points) memorable night, the Celts (38-14) got up by as many as 15 points in the second quarter but LA (37-16) eventually wore them down with their big bodies.

More than ever (which is saying something), the Celtics have so many injuries. Nate Robinson went down in the second quarter with a knee injury (don't think it's too serious) while Shaq, Delonte West, Jermaine O'Neal and Marquis Daniels are still out.

Boston dressed only 10 players which leads to wacky things like Avery Bradley covering Kobe Bryant (23 points) for a couple minutes in the third quarter.

Pau Gasol had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Andrew Bynum scored 16 points with nine rebounds while Lamar Odom (10 points, 12 rebounds) and Shannon Brown (12 points) were superb off the bench.

Paul Pierce had 15 points, Rajon Rondo notched 12 points and 10 assists, Kendrick Perkins put up 12 points and nine rebounds while Kevin Garnett had a quiet 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Von Wafer was great off the bench with eight points while Glen Davis scored nine but struggled shooting (3 of 10).

The Cs were up 27-20 after the first quarter and 53-45 at halftime. LA worked them in the third quarter (27-15) and Kobe helped finish it off in the fourth (20-18).

For the game, the Lakers shot 47.9% to 40.2 for the Celtics. Boston hit two more 3-pointers (5-3) but LA made four more free throws (19-15). LA grabbed 11 more rebounds (47-36) but Boston had five more assists (25-20). The Lakers pounded it inside to the tune of 50-32 points in the paint while the Cs didn't get to run much (9-2) fast break points.

This gauntlet of games ends on Sunday as the Celtics host the Miami Heat. Boston has won both matchups so far this season but truth be told, those were very early in the season.

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