Talen Horton-Tucker goes for the basket against the Celtics on 4/15/21.
Adam Pantozzi/NBA E

Lean Lakers Team Can’t Beat Celtics

by Taylor Geas

Well, fans were welcomed back into STAPLES Center for tonight's contest featuring No. 5 in the West and No. 5 in the East, 17 titles versus 17 titles. Ultimately, the match ended in a Celtics win over Los Angeles, 121-113.

The last time these two played each other in January, the Lakers beat the Celtics by one in the Garden. That game looked a little differently in terms of personnel. Tonight, the Lake Show played without LeBron James, without Anthony Davis, without Andre Drummond, Markieff Morris, and Jared Dudley. The Celtics had a nearly complete roster.

The Lakers didn't have their recent accuracy from three this evening, they had a hard time converting points in the paint and couldn't hang on to a majority of their rebounds. On the bright side, the Purple and Gold committed much fewer turnovers tonight than they have been throughout their April games. The team turned the ball over only 8 times.

Marc Gasol (18 pts) reached a new season-high points on the night, as did Talen Horton-Tucker (19 pts, 7 reb, 7 ast). Both Lakers got things going offensively when they could. But on the other end of the floor, the Lakers had a hard time stopping Celtics’ Jalen Brown (40 pts, 9 reb).

There was a moment at the end of the game with about two minutes left when the Lakers deep bench had a surge of power as the guys went on a 24-2 run. Celtics coach Brad Stevens put his starters back in the game as the deficit shrunk and shrunk. Ben McLemore (17 pts), Devontae Cacok, and THT were sparks right there at the end, but the game closed out before they could fight their way back and find a win.

It's tough to lose to a long-standing rival, and it's tough to lose the night fans are back at STAPLES Center, but this Lakers team has been digging deep into their bench and finding solutions for their tumultuous roster that has been plagued by injury. The guys are back on Saturday for another one against the Utah Jazz.

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