Something happened between the third and fourth quarters of Friday night’s game between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.
Yeah, the Lakers caught fire.
Los Angeles, which had shot just 40 percent through the first three quarters of the game, couldn’t miss a shot in the final period. Led by reserves MarShon Brooks (10 points), Chris Kaman, Kent Bazemore and Jordan Farmar (eight points apiece in the fourth), the Lakers scored 38 points in the final period to turn what was once a 13-point deficit in the third into a nine-point win.
The Lakers entered the final period trailing by 11 points. It took them just two minutes and 46 seconds to erase that deficit and tie the game up at 76-76. Los Angeles scored 16 of the game’s next 23 points to climb on top by nine.
The Celtics, who looked a bit rattled by Los Angeles’ run, couldn’t stage a comeback. Brandon Bass canned three shots in a span of less than three minutes, but Boston went on to fall by a score of 101-92.
Friday night’s game falls into the Celtics’ loss column for one reason and one reason only: the Lakers caught fire. Los Angeles shot a ridiculous 16-of-23 (69.6 percent) from the field in the final period en route to nearly 40 points. It would be difficult for any team to overcome a quarter like that from an opponent, regardless of what the lead was heading into the final frame.
Key Box Score Line
Former Celtic MarShon Brooks threw a condescending smile at Boston’s bench Friday night. On this night, he could get away with it.
Brooks, whom the C’s dealt to the Warriors in mid-January, joined the Lakers via another trade on Wednesday and appeared in his first game with Los Angeles Friday night. It just so happened to be against Boston, and the guard excelled in his role off of the bench.
The third-year guard started the fourth quarter and scored the first six points of the period, allowing the Lakers to slice an 11-point deficit down to five in less than 90 seconds. He continued to sizzle throughout the frame, tallying 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
His red-hot start in the fourth gave the Lakers some juice and sparked a dramatic comeback in the most storied rivalry in the NBA. Brooks finished with 14 points, two rebounds and three steals while helping the Lakers outscore the Celtics by 21 points during his 23 minutes of playing time.
Brooks hasn’t had a lot to smile about this season, and he certainly hasn’t had an opportunity to smirk at an opponent with a condescending look. On this night, however, no one could argue with his attitude, as he was the biggest reason why Los Angeles won.
Box Score Nuggets
- Boston lost despite having the game's top two scorers in Jeff Green (21 points) and Brandon Bass (20 points).
- The teams were nearly identical in rebounding (47 for Boston, 46 for L.A.) and assists (23 for each team).
- The Lakers bench scored 63 points.
- Rajon Rondo dished out a game-high 11 assists.
- Four of the five Los Angeles reserves who appeared in the game finished with a plus/minus of at least plus-15.
- Chris Kaman led the Lakers reserves with 16 points, while Kent Bazemore scored 15 and MarShon Brooks scored 14.
- Nine of Jared Sullinger's 12 rebounds were grabbed at the offensive end.
- Both teams led by double-digits at some point during the final quarter.
- Each team scored at least 50 points in the paint.
- Both teams attempted 22 3-pointers, with the Lakers making seven and the Celtics making four.
- Los Angeles scored 38 points in the fourth quarter.
- Phil Pressey, the shortest player to appear in the game, accounted for the night's only blocked shot.
Quote of the Night
Their bench won that first four minutes (of the fourth quarter) and they never stopped after that. They got in a nice rhythm and we didn't do enough to break it. Brad Stevens on what won the game for Los AngelesMore quotes >>