The first 55 seconds of Monday night’s matchup between the Celtics and the Lakers has been eliminated from history.
It is gone. It is forgotten. It is irrelevant.
Those 55 seconds featured Los Angeles jumping out to an early 8-0 lead that turned out to be the most insignificant 8-0 lead in the history of basketball. That’s because Boston responded in a hurry, and in an emphatic way to take this game to Blowout City.
The final 47 minutes of the night featured the Celtics outscoring their hated rival 139-99, annihilating the Lakers on national television on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
It doesn’t get much better than that.
It was Gordon Hayward who initiated the turn of tides. Hayward, who finished with 16 points, six rebounds and five on the night, drilled a late-clock 3-pointer from 29 feet out to get the Celtics on the board at the 10:07 mark of the game. He then added on a conventional three-point play less than a minute later with a driving, and-one layup through contact with Anthony Davis.
“I thought Gordon’s 3 was huge, and then he got the driving layup,” Brad Stevens said after the game. “That settled us down, and then everyone took off from there.”
That is a very accurate statement. Boston was off and running from that moment on, as it scored a total of 33 points during the final 10-plus minutes of the quarter. The Celtics continued to dominate for the remainder of the night, sending the Lakers out of TD Garden bruised, battered and scarred with a 139-107 victory.
Jayson Tatum showed yet again Monday night that when the lights are shining at their brightest, he can take his game to a whole other level.
Tatum shot the ball at a very high rate – particularly from 3-point range – during his 27-point performance against Los Angeles. He shot 10-for-18 from the field and canned five of his eight 3-point attempts.
His 27-point outburst against the league’s third-ranked defense marked his 14th game of the season with at least 25 points, and his 23rd of the season with at least 20 points.
Tatum also contributed five rebounds, three assists and a steal, while not committing a single turnover during 29 minutes of action.
Box Score Nuggets
- Three Celtics scored at least 20 points, led by Jayson Tatum's 27.
- Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker each scored 20.
- LeBron James dished out a game-high 13 assists.
- Enes Kanter grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and also scored 18 points.
- Walker led the Celtics with seven assists.
- Boston dished out 31 assists as a team.
- Boston made 16 treys, while LA made just seven.
- JaVale McGee led the Lakers with 18 points.
- Boston committed only 12 turnovers.
- Brown grabbed a game-high three steals, falling just two shy of LA's team total.
- Boston outscored Los Angeles by 21 points while James was on the court, giving him the second-worst plus/minus rating of the game.
- The Celtics outscored the Lakers 25-11 in fast break points.
Quote of the Night
I love a good extra pass as much as a good dunk, so I’m probably the wrong person to ask.
Brad Stevens on Jaylen Brown's dunk on LeBron James