Although the Lakers seemed like they were losing the game early in the third quarter, they held on and came back slowly to eventually win the game 114-112. The game was going back-and-forth the last few minutes, being closed by some clutch Anthony Davis free throws and some calls luckily going the Lakers way.
Here’s our recap.
Lakers fight back to beat the Celtics late
As I stated above, the game was 69-62 with 9:03 left in the third in the Celtics’ favor, as it seemed as though they were taking control of the game through Jayson Tatum’s wild game (more on that in a second).
The Lakers came back towards the end of the third and beginning of the fourth through an all-out team effort, especially on the defensive end. The run was obviously led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who combined for 61 points, 21 rebounds, 12 assists to power the Lakers through the Celtics. The Celtics played well all game, but they just seemed to have lost it on the offensive end once the game got close to the end, as they had 25 points in the final frame compared to 33 in the third and 35 in the second.
The Lakers “finally” won a game against a potential title contender (I use the quotations as I believe they have already while NBA Twitter seems to think they haven’t just because they haven’t beaten the Clippers or Bucks).
Lakers have no answer for Jayson Tatum
The best player on both teams was none other than Jayson Tatum, who had 41 points on 12-of-20 FGs. When you have the best player in the game, the game is automatically highly in your favor, but the rest of the Celtics didn’t give him the small amount of scoring help he needed for the team to pull out the win at the end.
Even though the Celtics lost, the Lakers definitely had to try different things on Tatum, with nothing working. They tried throwing Anthony Davis at him, which seemed to be the best matchup. But even in that Tatum could get to places he wanted on the perimeter, as he was nailing three-after-three on Davis. It’s the best bet though, as Tatum can take care of smaller players like Avery Bradley and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope like it’s nothing.
This is why the Lakers need a wing defender. They seem to be on their way to getting Markieff Morris, but who knows if he will be good enough to fill the role that they so desperately need against teams like the Celtics and Clippers.
Once F Markieff Morris clears waivers at 5 PM ET, he will sign with the Lakers into the $1.75M Disabled Player Exception, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 23, 2020
Rajon Rondo and Kyle Kuzma with great games off the bench
The Lakers weren’t getting much scoring from any starter not named LeBron James or Anthony Davis, so a couple of bench members had to come out and make some plays of their own.
Leading the scoring charge was Kyle Kuzma, who had 16 points in 27 minutes. Rajon Rondo also helped facilitate on the offensive end with five assists, but he was even more impressive on the defensive side, securing extra possessions for the Lakers with five steals.
The Lakers will next look to welcoming back the baby Lakers and face off against Zion Williamson for the first time, as the Pelicans come on into L.A. That game will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. PST on Tuesday.