Keys to the Game

Keys to the Game: Lakers 108, Celtics 107

Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

The Celtics were one clover away from yet another comeback win, but they came up one leaf shy against their rivals in Los Angeles.

Marcus Smart missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer Tuesday night at the Staples Center, a shot that would have given Boston a surprising come-from-behind victory over the Lakers. Smart’s shot missed off the front of the iron after he grabbed a defensive rebound, took the ball down the court and used a behind-the-back dribble to free himself for the attempt over defender Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

The fact that Boston even had an attempt to win the game at the buzzer was surprising. The attempt should have been to tie the game, rather than to win it.

The Celtics clawed to within one point with 7.3 left in the game when Terry Rozier somehow converted on a difficult driving layup in traffic. Los Angeles inbounded the ball after a timeout, and the Celtics fouled Caldwell-Pope with 5.7 seconds left on the clock.

Caldwell-Pope, in his first season with the Lakers, stepped to the line with a chance to guarantee a worst-case scenario of overtime by converting on his two free throws. However, he came up empty on both attempts, giving the Celtics a chance at the win.

As we now know, Smart and the C’s were unable to take advantage. Smart’s shot missed, allowing the Lakers to hold on for a 108-107 victory.

Key Player

Kyrie Irving notched his second consecutive game of at least 33 points Tuesday night in Los Angeles. Two days after scoring 40 against Orlando, the point guard notched 33 against the Lakers.

Irving was the game’s leading scorer thanks to his efficient shooting from all over the court. He made seven of his 13 shots from inside the arc and four of his 11 attempts from 3-point range to take his total to 13-for-24 shooting on the night. He also made all three of his free throws.

The plus/minus column is not always indicative of a player’s impact on a game, but on this night it certainly was. The Celtics, who fell 108-107, outscored Los Angeles by 16 points while Irving was on the court. No other member of the team had a plus/minus rating better than plus-four.

Irving also tallied four assists, three rebounds and a steal during his 38 minutes of playing time.

Box Score Nuggets

  • One game after tallying just eight points, Boston's bench totaled 48 against LA.
  • Kyle Kuzma led all reserves with 28 points, while Marcus Smart notched 22 off the bench for Boston.
  • LA scored at least 30 points during each of the final three quarters after scoring only 15 during the first period.
  • Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with 33 points.
  • Boston attempted 44 3-pointers.
  • The Lakers grabbed 14 offensive rebounds, which led to 23 second-chance points.
  • Smart led the game with eight assists.
  • The Celtics lost despite making two more field goals than the Lakers.
  • The Lakers shot 21-for-36 from the free-throw line, compared to Boston's 8-for-10 performance.
  • Julius Randle grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.
  • Al Horford led the Celtics with 12 boards.
  • The contest featured 18 lead changes and 10 ties.
  • The teams combined to commit only 21 turnovers.

Quote of the Night

It felt good when it left my hand. I thought it was going in.

Marcus Smart on his potential game-winning 3-point attempt.

Key Player