The Los Angeles Lakers took on the Boston Celtics on Friday. While the two teams are not on comparable timelines, this was still a highly-anticipated matchup between longtime rivals. Unfortunately, this edition went to the Celtics who were able to pull out the 113-107 win in Boston.
The Celtics were led by Isaiah Thomas, who has been scorching the NBA for weeks, now. Friday’s game was no different as the point guard put up 38 points against the Lakers’ porous defense. He was especially flammable in the fourth quarter, keeping the Lakers at bay as they attempted a comeback in the dying minutes.
The Lakers had some positive signs, despite the loss. D’Angelo Russell had a solid game with 20 points, six rebounds, and six assists. He did not shoot the ball especially well (8-20), but he exhibited command over the offense and was generally the best player on the court for stretches.
L.A.’s best and most consistent player on the night, however, was Larry Nance, Jr. The power forward had previously been shaking off rust from his absence due to injury. But on Friday, he was back to his old self, playing well on both ends of the court.
Nance filled up the stat sheet with 18 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and three steals. He had a strong game defensively, rotating well and using his quick feet to blitz pick and rolls in order to attempt to slow down Thomas. The most promising part of his offensive game was Nance’s lack of hesitation in taking open jumpers and his ability to hit several of them.
The Lakers were hit-and-miss for most of the night, on all accounts. They had moments of great defense and moments of terrible defense. They had stretches of hot shooting and at least two possessions in which they missed at least three shots on offensive rebounds.
That’s been the summary of their season thus far. But while a loss to the Celtics is always disappointing, adding context (second night of a back-to-back, Thomas on the hottest stretch of his career, and the Celtics being the second best team in the East right now) makes it a little more bearable.