Anthony Davis tallied 32 points and 13 rebounds and LeBron James recorded 29 points, nine assists and eight boards, and the Los Angeles Lakers weathered a career-high-tying 41-point effort by Jayson Tatum to beat the Boston Celtics, 114-112, on Sunday (Feb 23) at the Staples Center.
The historic rivals went back-and-forth throughout the day, and right down to the wire. The Celtics took a 110-108 lead with 1min 17sec left when Jaylen Brown, who scored 20 points, knocked down a three-pointer.
Missed shots on both ends set a final 37 seconds that took several minutes due to a handful of officiating reviews and a technical foul assessed to Celtics coach Brad Stevens.
James’ fadeaway jumper with 30.4 seconds remaining gave Los Angeles the lead for good, with Davis making three free throws over the final 12 seconds to seal it.
Boston, playing without All-Star guard Kemba Walker for the second time since the All-Star break, fell behind 28-19 through the first quarter.
The Celtics battled back behind Tatum, who matched a career high set on Jan 11 against New Orleans.Eighteen of Tatum’s 41 points came in the third quarter, which ended with the teams deadlocked at 87.Dwight Howard, who scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench, keyed the Lakers early in the fourth quarter with six of the team’s first eight points in the period.
Kyle Kuzma also scored in double figures off the bench for Los Angeles with 16 points.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also came on in reserve duties to force a critical turnover moments before Stevens was assessed his technical.
All five Boston starters scored in double figures, with Daniel Theis adding 16 points and nine rebounds and Marcus Smart registering 14 points and seven rebounds. Gordon Hayward scored 10 points, almost eight fewer than his season average, and shot 0-of-5 from behind the three-point line.
Hayward flirted with a triple-double, however, dishing a team-high nine assists and pulling down eight rebounds.