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FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Celtics – Game 50

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (23-27) | Boston Celtics (36-15)

 

The Lake Show suffered from poor officiating, and it led to a brutal loss to the Boston Celtics, 125-121

 

Lakers vs Celtics
Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer/AP

LeBron James earned his 19th NBA All-Star selection, tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most in league history. James and Abdul-Jabbar also share the record for most NBA All-Star Games played with 18.

The Celtics’ injury report included Danilo Gallinari (Left Knee ACL Repair), Marcus Smart (Right Ankle Sprain), and Robert Williams III (left ankle sprain).

Anthony Davis (right foot stress injury), King James (left ankle soreness), and Lonnie Walker IV (left knee tendinitis) were available at Boston. Walker estimated that he’d be on a minutes restriction of 20-25 minutes. Austin Reaves will be re-evaluated next week.

The Lakers stuck with the same starting lineup of Dennis Schroder, Patrick Beverley, Troy Brown Jr., King James, and Thomas Bryant. AD continued to come off the bench alongside Rui Hachimura and Walker.

The first three minutes of this game were a bit of a doozy, as the score only read 5-4 in the Lake Show’s favor. This could probably be chalked up to the jitters, as this game was hyped up all week, and as it should be. This is one of the greatest rivalries in sports history, if not the greatest.

This is where the game started to pick up, though, as King James began to settle into his usual production. His extra effort was appreciated as James hasn’t been great from deep this season, but when he’s hitting threes, the Lake Show’s chances of winning skyrocket.

Davis seemed to have left his injury behind him as he effortlessly rose up and sank a mid-range jumper. Walker also seemed a bit spry for someone who’s been out for 14 games, as he finished through the contact with ease.

With Hachimura in the game, he went straight into the paint and took advantage of a mismatch. Also, the lineup Darvin Ham went with was interesting, as with the addition of Hachi, Ham doesn’t have to run those egregious three or four-guard lineups. At the end of the first quarter, the score read Celtics 28, Lakers 27. LA held its own in a hostile environment.

However, to begin the second quarter, Boston came out and sucker punched the Lake Show, and jumped out to an 8-0 run. All the while, the Lake Show went scoreless for the first three minutes of the second quarter. LA recovered, though, as they went back to their strengths and attacked the paint. The next thing you knew, the Lake Show cut Boston’s lead to one at 36-35 with 6:45 left in the first half.

Russell Westbrook was making plays, but he continued to be a liability when it came to shooting the ball. Multiple times throughout the first half, Boston had switched their big onto Russ, and Brodie got baited into taking a jumper, which hadn’t fallen yet. Westbrook was 0-6 FGs and 0-2 3PM.

King James would pick up the slack, as he made his second three of the game out of four attempts, along with AD getting some second-chance points, and the Lake Show had a three-point lead.

 

At halftime, the score read Lakers 54, Celtics 48. The Lake Show outscored Boston 27-20 in the second quarter. Arguably one of LA’s best halves of the season. James had 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and Davis had 11 points.

 

Lakers vs Celtics
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

To start the second half, Davis entered the lineup for Bryant, which will likely be the main lineup change. Another change we could see is the obvious, Walker and Hachimura, with the former primed to regain his starting role. Though with the roster becoming healthy, it just enables Ham to have many, many more options.

The Lake Show began to heat up, as they made three straight threes, two from James and one from Beverley, to turn a tied game into a nine-point lead at 65-56 with the advantage to the Lakers with 8:29 left in the third.

However, the Celtics went on a run, which was to be expected when you’ve got a guy like Jayson Tatum, who can heat up at any given moment. Yet, the Lakers still led 75-72. It also didn’t help that turnovers killed the Lake Show in the third.

At the end of the third quarter, the score read Lakers 81, Celtics 81. Boston closed the quarter on a 13-4 run. James went to the bench with 3:21 left in the third quarter and with LA up by seven. Boston rallied to take a two-point lead as he rested, though a last-second layup from Hachimura tied the game at 81.

With the game tied, Davis looked to take the lead from three, but he was off, and despair sank into the hearts of Lake Show fans. However, Pat Bev came out of nowhere, soaring through the air and dunking Davis’ missed shot back through the hoop. That was, without a doubt, one of the greatest plays of Beverley’s career. 

Unfortunately, Boston came right back down, and Brown would score. In addition, Beverley would be called for a foul, giving Brown a chance to tie the game, and of course, he did. With one last chance to win it all, King James drove left into a sea of bodies but unsurprisingly had a clean look at the hoop. However, Tatum would come from behind and smack his arm, causing the king to fumble the ball. James was furious after the fact, but the Lake Show had already used their challenge earlier in the game.

Beverley would be issued a technical after he went up to the referee, that didn’t make the call, and showed the ref the play on a reporter’s camera. Truly unnecessary, but it’s worth it in this situation. Some of these NBA refs are just downright horrendous. However, in signature Lake Show fashion, the purple and gold would suffer an 8-2 scoring run by the Celtics in overtime. 

LA would recover, though, and cut the lead to three after Westbrook drew a flagrant foul on Boston. With 1:11 left in overtime, the Lake Show only trailed 117-114. Somehow, Brown was still in the game despite having five fouls. James must’ve known this and went straight at him for a bucket. However, there wasn’t much they could’ve done, their fate was already decided, and the final score read Celtics 125, Lakers 121.

 

Key Takeaways

 

Lakers vs Celtics
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

King James finished the game with 41 points (15-30 FGs, 6-12 3PMs), nine rebounds, and eight assists. Davis totaled 16 points, ten rebounds, and four assists. Beverley was exemplary, accumulating 15 points (4-7 3PMs), five rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Schroder had 13 points (0-5 3PMs). Westbrook and Walker combined for 25 points (1-6 3PMs combined).

Tatum had 30 points (3-10 3PMs), 11 rebounds, four assists, and six turnovers. Brown totaled 37 points (2-9 3PMs), nine rebounds, and three assists. Derrick White had 14 points and five rebounds. Malcolm Brogdon had 26 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals off the bench.

As much as you try not to put it on officiating, it’s becoming increasingly difficult,” Ham told reporters after the game, “It’s unfortunate that the game ends on a play like that. You don’t ask for favoritism. You just ask for consistency. The best player on Earth can’t get a call. It’s amazing.”

James on the final possession, “You saw my reaction. It’s challenging. I don’t get it,” the NBA has already determined in its postgame review that the officials got the call wrong on the Lakers’ last possession of the fourth quarter. Tatum should have been called for a shooting foul on James.

King James is now just 111 points from surpassing the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for No. 1 on the all-time scoring list.

 

The Lakers will now take on the Brooklyn Nets. They’ll face off on Monday, January 30th, at 4:30 p.m. PT at the Barclays Center. The game will be available on NBA TV, Spectrum SportsNet, and YES Network.

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– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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