The Boston Celtics could not maintain the hot shooting they displayed in Portland and failed to keep the Lakers out of the paint.
The Celtics defense allowed the Lakers to shoot 52 percent from the floor and the offense just couldn’t keep up.
Jayson Tatum started the game strong, scoring the team’s first 14 points on just five attempts from the floor. The offense was also noticeably fluid in the first quarter with Tatum off the floor. Unfortunately for the Celtics, their poor defensive effort meant they needed to keep this high level of offense up all game and they just couldn’t manage it.
They just barely cracked 20 points in each of the next two quarters, and the Lakers pulled away with a decisive third quarter.
LeBron James played a great game and finished with 30 points but the real difference-maker was Russell Westbrook. Westbrook has received his fair share of criticism this season but he made some big plays in the third quarter and essentially sealed the win for the Lakers early on.
Tatum was phenomenal for Boston, scoring 34 points on high efficiency while also hauling in eight rebounds. Aside from the first quarter, there was no offensive threat in the half-court sets from anyone else. The Celtics need Jaylen Brown to come back soon in order to balance the offense when Tatum is off the floor.
Boston is now 2-2 to start their gauntlet of a schedule for December and need to bounce back quickly. They will face the Los Angeles Clippers in their penultimate game for their five-game road trip out west.
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