Brad Stevens accurately described the final play of Thursday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers: the basketball gods rewarded the right team. The right team, unfortunately, was wearing purple and gold. The Lakers pranced out of TD Garden with a buzzer-beating win after Rajon Rondo captured a loose ball with two seconds left and fired up a 20-foot, fadeaway as he twisted toward the basket. His jumper fell through the net as time expired to give LA a 129-128 victory. The basketball gods awarded Rondo with a loose ball that he had no right in grabbing. Prior to his offensive rebound, Al Horford blocked a reverse layup attempt by Brandon Ingram and not one, but two Celtics were in position to grab the rebound and seal the game. However, Marcus Morris and Jayson Tatum overlapped arms as they reached for the ball, and the sphere squirted out toward Rondo for the game-winning shot attempt. If you’re wondering what Stevens meant by those gods awarding the right team, he was referring to the fact that the Lakers played the right way all night long, while Boston did not. The coach was very disappointed by his team’s defense throughout the second half, and meanwhile, he was complimentary of LA’s ability to take advantage of Boston’s miscues. If you believe in basketball gods, then you believe in what happened Thursday night. Rondo got that ball, and Rondo made that shot, because of the way the Celtics played leading up to that final moment.
Jayson Tatum logged his fifth double-double of the season Thursday night by compiling 22 points and 10 rebounds against the Los Angeles Lakers. He was efficient from everywhere on the court, as he canned nine of his 14 shot attempts, his only 3-pointer, and all three of his free throws. The majority of Tatum’s rebounds were grabbed at the defensive end, where he hauled in nine boards. His lone offensive rebound was grabbed during the second quarter. Tatum also set a new season high with his five assists, and those helpers were dished out while he protected the ball and did not commit a single turnover. Tatum also grabbed one steal during his 36=plus minutes of action.
Box Score Nuggets
- LeBron James scored a game-high 28 points, while Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with 24 points.
- Irving made all 10 of his free throws.
- Boston scored 66 points during the first half, and LA scored 72 points during the second half.
- The C's led by as many as 18 points.
- Daniel Theis excelled off the bench with 20 points, six rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots.
- Theis shot 9-for-11 from the field.
- LA, the second-worst 3-point shooting team in the league, shot 53.7 percent from long range (22-for-41).
- Jaylen Brown scored 19 points off the bench, and Terry Rozier scored 18.
- James tallied a triple-double with his 28 points, 12 assists and 12 rebounds, which were all game highs.
- Both teams committed only eight turnovers.
Quote of the Night
Nothing surprises me in this league especially with these two organizations battling with all the hype.
Terry Rozier on Rondo's game-winner.