The Celtics and Lakers have performed a whole bunch of video games in opposition to one another in what’s the NBA’s greatest rivalry. None have ever been fairly like this one.
With 6:57 to play within the third quarter, Boston had a 20-point lead. It appeared just like the Celtics have been going to cruise within the remaining recreation of a six-game journey. Coming off two disappointing losses, it appeared like simply what the physician ordered to get issues again on observe.
Los Angeles ripped off a large run to spark a 33-point turnaround. With 4:25 to play, the Lakers led 106-93.
Then the Celtics grew to become the Celtics once more.
Right here’s how we received there and the way some magic occurred.
2. The primary 29 minutes or so have been a few of the greatest basketball Boston had performed on the journey. The ball was transferring, gamers have been chopping and hitting photographs, the protection was energetic and engaged.
The Celtics have been up 15 on the half on the energy of 18 assists (in opposition to simply 4 turnovers), good taking pictures and a few actually good protection. As well as, Boston had grabbed 10 offensive rebounds, together with six from Luke Kornet.
Issues have been going nice.
3. Then, they weren’t.
An enormous run not often begins with something too exceptional. The Lakers hit a few photographs, then Marcus Good made a 3 to push the lead again to 19 for Boston.
The Celtics wouldn’t rating once more for over two-and-a-half minutes. After a pair of Jaylen Brown jumpers appeared to have stabilized issues and received the lead again to 14, Boston fell utterly aside.
The ultimate two minutes of the third quarter featured two missed free throws, 0-for-3 taking pictures and three turnovers. An 8-0 Lakers run made it a six-point recreation going into the ultimate interval. It occurs. Get a relaxation and reset.
Solely, it received worse.
The Los Angeles run stretched to 18-0 earlier than Jayson Tatum mercifully hit a layup with 8:04 left within the fourth quarter. That basket by Tatum snapped a 6:18 scoreless stretch for Boston. General, Boston scored 4 factors in over a nine-minute portion of the sport bridging the third and fourth quarters.
The harm was seemingly performed. The Lakers have been rolling. The occasion was on in LA.
4. Then, Hollywood magic occurred for the fellows in inexperienced.
Jayson Tatum made the exhausting push off the rebound and hit Grant Williams, who spaced out to the wing. Anthony Davis was beginning to drag and didn’t hassle with a closeout:
Sadly, there isn’t a clip of what occurred subsequent. In all probability as a result of the digicam had minimize away. However LeBron James threw a lazy inbounds go to an unaware Russell Westbrook. As a result of he’s Marcus Good, Good was proper there to steal it and lay it in.
A fast 5-0 spurt and the Celtics had life.
On an improvised give-and-go, Tatum tried to place LeBron James on a poster once more:
Tatum knocked down each free throws and Boston was feeling it. Sandwiched between a few robust fallaway jumpers from Anthony Davis and James, Tatum hit the step-back three over Davis:
James’ fallaway with 2:12 left was the Lakers final rating of regulation. With LA on fumes and never getting again, Good went by means of Austin Reaves for a layup:
It was time for stops and scores.
After a few stops, James and Davis hold two on the ball with Jaylen Brown right here. Or they have been too lazy to change. Both approach, Good isn’t afraid of the large shot. By no means has been:
You felt just like the Celtics knew they’d it right here. For the second time in a a couple of week, Anthony Davis missed two free throws. Tatum didn’t miss:
5. The transient relaxation earlier than extra time will be each a blessing and a curse while you needed to come again to power that further interval. On one hand, you wish to hold rolling. Alternatively, everybody wants that minute or so to catch their breath.
The Celtics needed to push so exhausting to get the 5 further minutes, it was honest to surprise in the event that they’d have sufficient left to recover from the hump.
After two Russell Westbrook layups to open extra time, it didn’t look nice for Boston. However the Celtics weren’t completed but.
6. The ball hitting the paint and getting the protection rotating is when Boston appears their greatest. That’s what occurred right here earlier than Marcus Good drove Austin Reaves for the floater:
7. After baiting Russell Westbrook into taking one other jumper (Boston had put Luke Kornet on Westbrook, however he guarded the Lakers level guard from a location roughly someplace in San Diego), Marcus Good attacked in opposition to the weary Lakers. The outcome was Anthony Davis coming to assist and Grant Williams working in his nook workplace:
8. After Jaylen Brown overpowered the Lakers to earn a few free throws, Russell Westbrook was baited into taking two extra threes. In between these misses, Jayson Tatum dropped within the step-back pullup to get to 44 factors on the night time:
9. To shut it, Jaylen Brown pulled up from the parking zone:
Goodnight, LA. Again to Boston with an inconceivable victory.
10. The Celtics had their first protracted stumbles of the season whereas on this journey. The Warriors recreation wasn’t a great displaying and getting blown out by the Clippers was robust. When Boston fell aside throughout that late-third and early-fourth quarter stretch, it was exhausting to not query what had occurred over the past week.
However they fought again. They took some punches, picked themselves up off the canvas and began touchdown haymakers of their very own.
4-2 is a really success six-game street journey. Now, Boston has considered one of their longest homestands in years. The subsequent seven video games are at TD Backyard and the Celtics received’t return on the street till the calendar flips to 2023.
That seven-game homestand options at the very least 5 video games that Boston will probably be closely favored to win. And we get our first take a look at the Milwaukee Bucks on Christmas Day.
It may have been a catastrophe, however the good guys discovered a approach simply when every thing seemed to be at its bleakest. That’s a Hollywood ending if we’ve ever seen one.