Final: Lakers 113-99: A tough night for the Celtics, who just couldn’t get defensive stops as the Lakers played like a motivated team after the death of owner Jerry Buss. Dwight Howard led Los Angeles with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Paul Pierce paced the Celtics with 23 but just 3 in the second half. Courtney Lee added 20. The Celtics get a day off before facing Phoenix on Friday.
Fourth quarter, 5:51, Lakers 104-88: Well the Celtics have to regroup after another tough night. This one’s on the defense, which just couldn’t get consistent stops. Avery Bradley had trouble with both Steve Nash and Steve Blake. The Lakers have just 11 turnovers.
Fourth quarter, 8:52, Lakers 99-80: Frustration is mounting for the Celtics, who just can’t stop the Lakers offensively. Los Angeles has 48 points in the pain and 14 second-chance points and are outrebounding the Celtics 41-27. Six players have scored in double figures, led by Dwight Howard’s 22. Paul Pierce has 26 for Boston but just 3 since halftime.
End of third quarter, Lakers 90-76: The Celtics make a 7-3 mini run to stay within striking distance but the need to play a remarkable fourth quarter to pull this one out. The Lakers were 11-for-19 shooting in the quarter and six players have scored in double figures. The Celtics are led by Paul Pierce with 26 but just 3 in the third quarter, all on free throws.
Third quarter, 2:50, Lakers 85-67: Just one of those nights for the Celtics where they can’t stop the Lakers from doing anything. They are actually playing decent offensively but the Lakers are 10-for-15 shooting in the quarter and five players have scored in double figures. Dwight Howard has 22 points and 10 rebounds. Kobe Bryant has 16 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists. Paul Pierce has 24 for the Celtics but 1 point in the quarter while Courtney Lee has 15 for the Celtics.
Third quarter, 7:53, Lakers 75-57: Los Angeles is playing flawless ball, using crisp ball movement and the resurgence of Dwight Howard to stomp the Celtics to begin the third quarter. The Celtics are 1-for-5 shooting with two turnovers in the quarter. They need instant offense or this could turn into a blowout.
Halftime, Lakers 64-55: The Lakers are hitting some tough shots, such as Kobe Bryant hits a turnaround 15-footer with 4.6 seconds left to cap a stellar offensive half. The Lakers shot 51.1 percent, hit five 3-pointers and committed just four turnovers. The Celtics shot 49 percent and committed just five turnovers. But the Lakers have attempted 18 free throws to Boston’s four. Paul Pierce has 23 points, no other Celtic is in double figures.
Second quarter, 2:54, Lakers 55-48: The Celtics are slowly climbing back into the game but they have no answer for Dwight Howard, who has 15 points and seven rebounds. Kobe Bryant has 12 but just 2 in the quarter. Steve Nash has been especially effective offensively with 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting, including a shake move on Avery Bradley for an open jumper. Paul Pierce has brought his “A” game tonight with 18 points. Kevin Garnett has 8.
Second quarter, 5:44, Lakers 47-39: The Celtics are playing better defense, holding the Lakers to 4-for-12 shooting in the quarter but they are 5-for-15 themselves, missing easy layups. Kevin Garnett just missed two free throws while Jeff Green is back to inconsistent self with six misses in eight attempts. Paul Pierce’s shot is going down tonight. He leads all scorers with 15 points.
Second quarter, 8:41, Lakers 41-33: Second quarter, 8:41, Lakers 41-33: Celtics are on a 6-0 run against the Lakers bench as the play is getting frantic. The Celtics are taking care of the ball but they are missing layups. Jeff Green is 2-for-7 shooting while Courtney Lee is getting clean looks and needs to knock down his short jumpers. Paul Pierce leads the Celtics with 12 points.
End of first quarter, Lakers 36-27: Doc Rivers despises when opponents score 30 points in a quarter, so what do you think he feels about the Lakers’ 36-point barrage. Los Angeles shot 52.2 percent and attempted 12 free throws to the Celtics’ two. And one of those Boston free throws was on a defensive 3-second call. So the Celtics have a long road ahead if they plan to rally. Paul Pierce has 10 for the Celtics on 4-for-6 shooting while Kevin Garnett has 6 and Jeff Green 4.
Dwight Howard led Los Angeles with 12 points, exceeding his total from the previous meeting and Kobe Bryant has 10.
First quarter, 3:33, Lakers 25-17: The run is 14-2 for the Lakers, who are feeding off the crowd while the Celtics can’t even get into their offense. The Celtics are still shooting 7 of 14 from the field but have four turnovers and have one field goal in the past four minutes.
First quarter, 6:41, Lakers 16-15: The good news for the Celtics is Paul Pierce is off to a hot start with 8 points, including a 3-pointer and a pull-up jumper. Dwight Howard already has 8 for Los Angeles and Kobe Bryant with 5. It’s obvious the Lakers are trying to get Howard involved early. Howard already has four rebounds.
LOS ANGELES — It has already been an emotional night with a pre-game tribute to owner Jerry Buss, who passed away on Monday, Kobe Bryant said some moving words about the owner and the Celtics were soundly booed as they were introduced.