LOS ANGELES — The Celtics survived a back-and-forth matchup to get their first win on their west coast road trip over the Los Angeles Lakers 122-118 in overtime Tuesday night.
The game was a mixture of praise and frustrations for both teams. The (22-7) Celtics, with the best record in the NBA, blew up a 20-point lead in the second half. The Lakers would then take a 10 point lead late in the fourth quarter, before the Celtics rallied back to take the game to overtime.
One thing that stayed consistent was the play of Jayson Tatum and Anthony Davis. Both players have been gaining MVP talks, Tatum in the lead in most eyes, Davis a late addition to the race.
Tatum dropped 44 points hitting tough shot after tough shot. He made five shots from behind the arc and also pulling in 9 rebounds. Jaylen Brown was also balling putting up 25 points and 12 rebounds.
“That game just says a lot about our experience and mental toughness,” said Brown. “That’s a tough and perfect way to close out our road trip.”
As for Davis, he finished with 37 points and 12 rebounds. LeBron James was right behind with 33 points, 9 assists, and 9 rebounds. Russell Westbrook came off the bench and added 20 points of his own.
Although the Celtics pulled out the W, there are some questions to the spotty Celtics defense. Al Horford missed another game which left Blake Griffin and Grant Williams to defend the paint. The C’s gave up 68 points in the paint.
“Games aren’t won or lost in the fourth quarter or overtime,” said Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla. “We have to be elite at managing the end of the third, beginning of the fourth quarter. That is where NBA games are won and lost, and we didn’t do a good job managing that part of the game. So we’ll take the positives of how we worked to get back in the game and then managed a run to end it, but we’ll also focus on that stretch.”
That was the last of the C’s west coast trip and they’ll head back to Boston and face the Orlando Magic Friday.