Classic among NBA classics, this Lakers/Celtics mostly smelled of powder, as both teams needed to win. Los Angeles to continue to get closer to the Top 10 in the West and Boston to revive after his two defeats conceded against contenders (Warriors then Clippers).
The least we can say is that this historic poster has kept all its promises, since it took extra time to decide between the two teams. On arrival, it is ultimately the teammates of Jayson Tatum (44 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists) and Jaylen Brown (25 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals) who win at the end of the suspense (122-118). Despite all the efforts ofAnthony Davis (37 points, 12 rebounds), LeBron James (33 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists) and others opposite.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
— A fantastic scenario. Who could have imagined that at +20 in favor of Boston, in the middle of the third quarter, the Lakers would end up inflicting an incredible run of… 41-9 (!) in the next fifteen minutes, to see Los Angeles turn to +13 four minutes from the end of the match? Who then would have thought that the Celtics would respond with a… 17-4 in the money time, to snatch a miraculous extension? It is however this double scenario to which the public of the Crypto.com Arena was entitled, before Jayson Tatum’s teammates made the difference, as bosses, in this famous extension.
— Jayson Tatum superstar. In the hard for two games, like his team, “Jay” was keen to bounce back against LeBron James and he did not do things by halves in this “derby”. Sharp and aggressive, also taking advantage of a great success at 3-pts, he first installed the Celtics in control in the first half, before experiencing a small drop in speed in the second half. As a boss, the All-Star winger, however, put on the warm-up blue in the last act, to wake up Boston and snatch the extension, with a shot on the head of the “King”. Before letting his lieutenants finish the job in the next five minutes.
— LeBron James and Anthony Davis gave their all. When the “King” and “AD” play at this level, the Lakers do not show the same face and seem capable of competing with anyone. Provided, of course, that their teammates are there, which has not been the case for two and a half quarters (hence the Celtics +20). But as soon as the role players from LA woke up, the game changed and the domination of the James / Davis duo inside propelled the whole team in charge Only downside: their missed extension, but with 46 minutes for one and 42 minutes for the another, they were out of gas…
✅ Jaylen Brown. In the shadow of Jayson Tatum, “JB” was also there, like the perfect lieutenant he has always been this season. Active on the rebound, present in defense and inspired with the ball, he took what the Californian defense gave him, hardly forcing anything and letting the game come to him. Less present after the break, like almost all of his team, the All-Star rear then regained color in overtime, to plant an important 3-pts and valuable free throws. A solid and complete performance, necessary to revive Boston after two defeats in a row.
✅ Russell Westbrook. If the games only lasted one half, the “Brodie” would certainly have been among the flops of this game, along with all the Lakers, LeBron James and Anthony Davis excepted. Except that the All-Star point guard took advantage of the break to recover, with his boundless energy. Author of 20 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks off the bench, he was at the origin of the comeback Californian (with James and Davis), causing loose balls, accelerating the tempo after the rebound, scoring aggressively near the circle or also setting an example in defense. A real electric battery.
⛔ Boston’s second half. After a successful first period collectively (10/23 at 3-pts, 18 assists, 10 offensive rebounds, 4 ball losses), the Celtics surprisingly collapsed after the break. Probably on the kneecaps, because of their back to back and their road trip of six games (finally over), Joe Mazzulla’s men lost track when they started to lose countless balls, on walks or concentration swings, and locked themselves in isolation play , stopping to make the swelling live. The punishment was immediate: run 41-9 for the Lakers!
⛔ The Los Angeles Extension. Anthony Davis may still regret his two missed free throws 28 seconds from the end of the fourth quarter, which could have put the Lakers at +4. Lakers who also risk regretting having squandered, as against the Pacers two weeks ago, a ten-point lead in the money time. Because, today in overtime, and despite a good start from Russell Westbrook, they did not make the weight against the Celtics, no doubt because of this new collapse in the finish and perhaps also because of all the efforts made before, to pick up the score.
LA (11-16) : reception from Denver, on the night of Friday to Saturday (04:00).
Boston (22-7) : reception in Orlando, on the night of Friday to Saturday (01:30).