In a game of runs that saw the Lakers turn a 20-point 2nd half deficit into a 13 point lead in the 4th quarter, it was the Celtics' final run to end regulation and their shot making in overtime that allowed them to survive the Lakers to win 122-118.
This was a game of superstar performances from some of the best players in the NBA. On the Lakers side, that meant LeBron James and Anthony Davis carrying them all night with relentless assaults in the paint and fantastic effort defensively.
LeBron barely missed out on a triple double, scoring 33 points to go along with nine rebounds and nine assists. LeBron was assertive all night on both ends of the floor, attacking the basket in both the half court and in transition, and making several highlight plays after forcing steals by jumping passing lanes and then throwing down monster dunks.
LeBron finished the night shooting 14-25 from the field, including several huge buckets in the middle of the Lakers huge run to close the 3rd quarter and through the majority of the 4th quarter. But he also only went 3-11 from behind the arc, with several of those misses coming late where fatigue could have played a factor. LeBron played 43 minutes in all, including the entire 4th quarter and all of overtime.
AD was on the court for even longer, logging 46 minutes, including the entire 2nd half and all of OT. Davis had another monster game, however, scoring a team high 37 points on 13-24 shooting to go along with 12 rebounds (4 offensive) and 3 assists. Davis dominated in the paint offensively, often facing smaller Celtics defenders who shot over the top of for finishes from all angles. And, like LeBron, AD was also tremendous in transition, making some highlight plays of his own.
Davis was also 11-15 from the foul line, but with the Lakers nursing a two point lead and trying to hold off the hard charging Celtics, AD missed consecutive free throws with 28.2 seconds left. Those misses gave the Celtics a chance to tie the game and Jayson Tatum obliged with a nifty step back jumper against LeBron in isolation. The Lakers had a chance to win at the buzzer, but Bron's jumper bounced off the iron and the game went into OT.
In the extra period, the Lakers were able to get off to a good start with back-to-back baskets from Russ, whose 20 points and 15 rebounds in the game helped fuel the team's 2nd half surge. But it wasn't to be as the Celtics' defense tightened and they continued their bombardment from beyond the arc, knocking down two of their 19 made three-pointers in the OT to create the separation they needed to fend off the Lakers one last time.
Ultimately, this game is a bitter pill for the Lakers to swallow considering the 2nd run they went on to take control of the game and the fact they had a 13-point lead with 4:25 left in the game, led by five with just under a minute left, and then had AD's free throws to put them up four with under 30 seconds.
But Tatum's shot making - not just on that last shot, but all game - that led to his game high 44 points and the additional scoring punch Jaylen Brown (25 points) and Marcus Smart (18 points) provided were just a bit too much to overcome in this one.
With this loss the Lakers fall to 11-16 on the season, but will look to build on some of their good stretches from this game and carry them over to their matchup with the Nuggets on Friday.