The Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics continued their storied rivalry in a surprising game at Staples Center. The Lakers trailed for most of the game, but came back to win it in the 4th quarter 101-92.
The Lakers led the Celtics early in the first quarter 10-9, but Boston thoroughly controlled the game until the 4th to tie it at 76 all.
Jordan Hill had a strong showing notching yet another double double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Jodie Meeks and Pau Gasol (who once again survived the NBA trade deadline) both had significant offensive contributions bringing in 16 points apiece (Gasol also had 7 rebounds).
After trading Steve Blake, the Lakers gave newly acquired players Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks a chance to showcase their talents. Brooks, who had only been averaging about 2.6 points per game this season, scored 14 points and made critical plays in the 4th quarter to help lead the Lakers to victory. Bazemore led the team in minutes tonight (D’Antoni played him 33 minutes tonight) and totalled 15 points and 4 assists. In the midst of a Boston comeback in the 4th, Bazemore hit a crucial 26 foot 3 pointer off of a pass from Chris Kaman, who finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds, to make the score 95-87.
Every player off the bench for the Lakers was significantly positive in their +/- statistic. Collectively, the bench was +78. The lineup that contributed the most was comprised of Brooks, Farmar, Bazemore, Hill, and Kaman. This lineup created a 16 point swing in the 4th, and scored 37 points in the 4th to help send the Lakers to victory over their Boston rivals.
This was the Lakers first home win since January 3rd. This win ends a 8 game losing streak for the Lakers (longest losing streak in franchise history). MarShon Brooks and Kent Bazemore were traded to the Lakers for Steve Blake. Bazemore led the Lakers tonight in minutes. Kobe Bryant to be reexamined in 3 weeks. Lakers bench has been redubbed the “Killer Bees.”