NBA

Celtics rout Lakers 116-95 for 6th straight win

Share This Story

   
 

BOSTON (AP)

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.

Tagged: Celtics, Lakers, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..