Lakers Gameday | 12/30/07 | Celtics 110, Lakers 91
Pierce, Garnett lead Celtics past Kobe, Lakers
Paul Pierce scored 33 points and Kevin Garnett had 22 points, 12 rebounds and six assists Sunday night to lead the Boston Celtics to a 110-91 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Boston took the lead in the first quarter and never relinquished it. Each time the Lakers threatened, the Celtics would pull away again.
Kobe Bryant scored 22 for Los Angeles, going just 6-of-25 from the floor. Lamar Odom had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The victory in the final of two meetings between the teams this season ran Boston's NBA-best record to 26-3 and extended its winning streak to six straight. It also ended a four-game winning streak by the Lakers, who still have won 10 of their last 13.
The Celtics prevented Lakers coach Phil Jackson from moving ahead of Boston Hall of Fame coach Ray Auerbach on the career wins ladder. Jackson remained tied with Auerbach for seventh on the all-time list with 938 victories.
Ray Allen added 19 points for Boston and Tony Allen, filling in for Rajon Rondo, had 16.
There obviously was a lot of emotion during the game -- and a lot of jawing at the referees, who called seven technical fouls over the course of the game: on the Celtics' Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, Ray Allen and coach Doc Rivers; and the Lakers' Bryant, Trevor Ariza and Kwame Brown.
Odom also was called for a flagrant foul late in the game, with Ray Allen drawing his technical on the same play.
Garnett left the game briefly in the second quarter to get two stitches above his right eye.
Los Angeles, which trailed by double digits much of the game, narrowed the gap to 72-66 with 3:17 left in the third quarter, but Pierce scored 10 points in a row to give the Celtics an 82-66 lead at the end of the period.
Boston was up 53-45 at halftime, with Los Angeles narrowing the gap after falling behind by 17, at 45-28, early in the second quarter.
Pierce had 16 points for the Celtics and Bryant 16 for the Lakers at the break. Bryant made just three of his 15 shots from the floor, but 10 of 11 from the free throw line.
Tony Allen scored 13 first-half points on 4-of-5 shooting while playing in place of Rondo, who sat out because of tightness in his right hamstring.
The Lakers wore throwback, short shorts in the first half, particularly odd-looking in contrast to the Celtics' knee-length, today look.
Garnett and Pierce scored eight points apiece to help the Celtics to a 32-23 lead at the end of the first quarter. Bryant scored nine for the Lakers, but went just 2-of-8 from the floor.
Phil Jackson pulled into a tie with Red Auerbach for seventh place on the career wins list earlier this weekend. On Sunday, he'll get a chance to take sole possession of that spot against the franchise that's synonymous with Auerbach's name.
Jackson and the Los Angeles Lakers go for their season-high fifth straight victory when they host the Boston Celtics, who are riding their own five-game win streak.
Jackson earned his 938th win as a head coach on Friday night, when the Lakers (19-10) beat Utah 123-109. He matched the career total of Auerbach, who recorded his last 795 wins with the Celtics.
Jackson, who's also tied with Auerbach for the NBA record with nine championships, downplayed the achievement.
"The longer you stay here, the more wins you're going to accumulate," he said. "But I've never really followed that stuff, you know?"
"Fortunately, I've had really good teams and they've accumulated a lot more wins in a short period of time. But still and all, it's really just longevity and it speaks for hanging in there."
Jackson's 938th career win was the Lakers' fourth in a row, matching a season high. Los Angeles has won 10 of 12 after dropping five of seven Nov. 21-Dec. 2.
Kobe Bryant had 31 points, seven assists, four rebounds and four steals in Friday's win, and has topped 30 points in three straight games for the first time this season. The two-time defending scoring champion is averaging 36 points during his hot streak while shooting 56.1 percent from the field and 50 percent (12-for-24) from 3-point range.
Continuing that surge could be a challenge against Boston (25-3), which has the NBA's best record thanks in part to its stellar defense. The Celtics are allowing just 86.7 points per game and allowing opponents to shoot just 41.7 percent from the field - both marks lead the league.
The Celtics were expected to be challenged on their first western road trip of the season, but they've won the first three games by an average of 11.3 points heading into Sunday's finale. They rallied from an eight-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Utah Jazz 104-98 on Saturday night - their 14th win in 15 games.
Paul Pierce was the key to the comeback. After being held scoreless without a rebound in the first half, he finished with 24 points and six boards.
"I was really mad at myself at the half," said Pierce, who has scored 50 points in the second halves of his last two games, compared to just 11 before halftime. "I knew I was going to come out more aggressive at both ends of the court. That's what I tried to do."
Boston coach Doc Rivers said he made a concerted effort to get the team's leading scorer more involved in the offense.
"We had to get him going," Rivers said. "Once he got it going, you know, you've seen Paul, it's tough to turn him back off."
Pierce had 20 points, nine assists and six rebounds as the Celtics won their first meeting with the Lakers 107-94 on Nov. 23 at TD Banknorth Garden. He was one of four Boston players with at least 18 points.
Bryant led the Lakers with 28 points in that game, but shot just 9-for-21 from the field.Copyright 2007 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
(Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images)
---Jeff Skibiski, Lakers.com
SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers trail their season series with Boston 0-1 after having swept last season’s series 2-0. Now in their 28th season since Dr. Jerry Buss purchased the team prior to the 1979-80 season, the Lakers have lost just five season series to Boston, most recently dropping the 2001-02 season series 0-2. This will be the 177th meeting between the two teams with Los Angeles trailing the all-time series 80-96, marking the lone losing record the Lakers have to another NBA franchise. The Lakers and Celtics have met in 10 NBA Finals dating back to Minneapolis in 1959 with Boston taking the first eight before Los Angeles took the 1985 and 1987 Finals. In their last 10 overall meetings, the Lakers have gone 7-3 against the Celtics. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers have gone 6-2 all-time versus Boston and are 7-3 in their last 10 home games against the Celtics. On the road, the Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 games in Boston. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 10-5 against Boston. In 18 career games against Boston including 15 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 25.1 points but has averaged 38.4 points against the Celtics in his last five games. Celtics forward Paul Pierce grew up in Southern California, attending Inglewood High. Lakers center Chris Mihm was acquired by the Celtics 12/15/03 and played 54 regular season games with Boston, averaging 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds before being acquired by the Lakers in August 2004. Phil Jackson and legendary Celtics head coach Red Auerbach each have nine NBA championships apiece as head coaches, an NBA record. Jackson (937) trails Auerbach (938) by ONE win for 7th all-time.
JACKSON TIES RED AUERBACH FOR 7th ALL-TIME WITH 938th CAREER VICTORY, CAN PASS VERSUS BOSTON
Additionally, the Lakers victory at Philadelphia on December 21 marked Jackson’s 600th career game with the Lakers. Jackson ranks as the third longest tenured coach in Lakers history behind John Kundla (11 seasons, 734 games) and Pat Riley (9 seasons, 727 games).
BRYANT CONTINUES TO LEAD ALL WESTERN CONF. PLAYERS AFTER 2nd ROUND OF ALL-STAR BALLOTING