|W. Johnson||SF||J. Green|
|P. Gasol||PF||J. Sullinger|
|R. Sacre||C||K. Humphries|
|J. Meeks||SG||A. Bradley|
|K. Marshall||PG||R. Rondo|
K. Bryant: Knee Out until early February
S. Nash: Back Out until early January
S. Blake: Elbow Out until late January
X. Henry: Knee Out until early January
J. Farmar: Hamstring Out until early February
P. Gasol: Foot Probable
No injuries reported.
Rondo Returns but Lakers Beat celtics 107-104
By Jimmy Golen | January 16, 2014
BOSTON (AP) Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo returned from a knee injury and missed a 3-pointer that could have sent the game into overtime, allowing the Los Angeles Lakers to beat Boston 107-104 on Friday night.
Pau Gasol had 24 points and 13 rebounds for Los Angeles, and Kendall Marshall finished with 19 points and 14 assists. Ryan Kelly scored 20 points and Wesley Johnson added 11 points and 11 rebounds, including a 3-pointer with 69 seconds left to give the Lakers the lead for good.
Kelly added a pair of clinching free throws with 9.4 seconds remaining as the Lakers snapped a six-game losing streak.
Kelly Olynyk scored a career-high 25 points for Boston. Rondo, who was limited to 20 minutes in his first game since tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament on Jan. 25, 2013, had eight points, four assists and two rebounds.
The Celtics led by as many as 13 points in the second quarter and still held a 97-94 lead when Rondo, who played about five minutes each quarter, checked back in with 4:53 left. Olynyk soon made a jumper from the top of the key and then Rondo hit Avery Bradley for a 3-pointer on the wing to extend the lead to eight points.
It was 104-96 when Johnson made a 3-pointer, then two offensive rebounds gave the Celtics three tries to score, but they came away with nothing. Jodie Meeks made a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game, and with Rondo bringing the ball down the crowd rose to its feet.
But the four-time All-Star back-rimmed a long shot. The Lakers were forced into a shot-clock violation, but Bradley missed a runner. Boston forced a jump ball - and then a rejump when the tip went out of bounds - but Johnson got it to Kelly, who was fouled.
The free throws left the Celtics with a three-point deficit and less than 10 seconds.
The crowd worked itself into a "Beat L.A.!" chant.
Rondo dribbled the clock down and was left alone for a 3-pointer, but it missed badly, and in the scramble for the rebound the buzzer went off.
In all, the Celtics missed their last seven shots of the game.
The defeat deflated the excitement of Rondo's return to a team much different than the one he left - a two-time NBA finalist stocked with All-Stars. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are in Brooklyn, Doc Rivers is with the Clippers and the Celtics are coming off a nine-game losing streak that has solidified their position in the draft lottery.
The crowd began anticipating Rondo's return right before introductions, when the video monitor started showing clips from him working out to Van Halen's "Right Now." The cheering grew louder when the scoreboard said, "No. 9 Returns Tonight."
Rondo received a huge cheer when he was introduced before the game. The public address announcer called his name last, as the Celtics' captain and only remaining star. Rondo then went to mid-court to receive a community service award.
Rondo played 4 minutes, 56 seconds in the first quarter, registering one rebound and missing two shots. He shot 4 for 5 in the second quarter, when he played about five minutes. He did not have an assist in the first half, though several good passes were wasted when his teammates missed shots.
The longstanding rivalry between Boston and Los Angeles has lost some of its luster with Boston's most recent Big Three long gone and Lakers star Kobe Bryant recovering from a broken bone in his left knee. In fact, the Celtics and Lakers had never been this bad when they faced each other: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, their combined winning percentage of .354 (28-51) was the lowest ever for the longtime rivals in a head-to-head matchup (after the first five games of the season).
What's worse, the Lakers had won only one game since the weekend before Christmas, and Boston had won just two.
NOTES: The Celtics signed G-F Chris Johnson to a 10-day contract. He did not play. ... The game marked the arrival of Joel Anthony, who was acquired by Boston from the Miami Heat in a three-team trade on Wednesday. He did not play. ... Bryant missed his 15th consecutive game for the Lakers with a left knee fracture. He did make the trip - and popped in on a Boston College marketing class on Thursday night.
Copyright 2013 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
All-Time Series Notes: The 2011-12 season’s split ended the Lakers run of four straight
season series victories over Phoenix ... This will be the 226th meeting between the two
teams with the Lakers leading the all-time series 132-93 ... The Lakers are 21-7 against the
Suns all-time at STAPLES Center (regular season) and 9-1 in their last 10 home games
against Phoenix ... On the road, the Lakers have gone 5-5 in their last 10 visits to the Valley
of the Sun ... During the 2012-13 season, Lakers G Kobe Bryant scored 48 points 1/10/12
vs. Phoenix, marking the highest scoring output of his career in a game in which he did not
make a 3-point field goal …. In 59 career games against the Suns including 52 starts, Bryant
is averaging 26.2 points ... In Bryant’s most recent meeting against Phoenix on 2/12/13,
however, he finished with just four points (1-8 FG), five rebounds and a game-high nine
assists, scoring the fewest points in a game in which he started and played at least 11
minutes in his NBA career … In 2010-11, the Lakers defeated the Suns in triple overtime at
STAPLES Center on March 22, 2011 ... The 3-overtime contest was the second ever in Los
Angeles (1-1), fourth since the team moved West prior to the 1960-61 season (2-2) and tied
for the 2nd longest game in franchise history behind a 4-overtime loss in January of 1980 at
Cleveland …. In February of 2009, Bryant shared MVP honors with then Sun Shaquille
O’Neal at the 2009 All-Star Game in Phoenix.
Connections: Lakers Head Coach Mike D’Antoni (2003-04 to 2007-08) and Assistant Coach Dan D’Antoni (2005-06 to 2007-08) held the same positions with the Phoenix Suns…
D’Antoni won the 2004-05 Coach of the Year Award with Phoenix… Lakers G Steve Nash, who came to the Lakers via trade in 2012, spent 10 seasons in Phoenix (1996-98, 2004-
12), averaging 14.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 9.4 assists in 744 career regular season games while winning back-to-back MVP awards in 2004-05 and 2005-06.... Lakers F Wesley
Johnson also played for the Suns during the 2012-2013 season... Lakers Assistant Coach Kurt Rambis played 3½ seasons with Phoenix, averaging 4.2 points and 3.7 rebounds in
153 games (67 starts)… Lakers G Kendall Marshall was drafted by the Suns with the 13th
pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and played his rookie season (2012-13) with Phoenix… Lakers
F Xavier Henry played with Suns twin forwards Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris at the University of Kansas (2009-2010)... Henry, Lakers C Chris Kaman and Suns C Emeka
Okafor were teammates on the New Orleans Hornets during the 2011-12 season... Lakers G Jodie Meeks (2006-2009) and Suns guards Eric Bledsoe (2009-2010) and Archie
Goodwin (2012-2013) all attended University of Kentucky... Lakers F Jordan Hill (2006-09) and Suns C Channing Frye (2001-05) both attended the University of Arizona....
Lakers G Steve Blake (1999-2003) and Suns C Alex Len (2011-2013) both attended the University of Maryland.