Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers Live Score & Stats – December 25, 2023 Gametracker

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Boston Celtics were happy to share on Christmas Day, and that propelled them to a historic celebration against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Led by Kristaps Porzingis’ 28 points and 11 rebounds, all five starters had at least 18 points for the Celtics in a 126-115 win over the Lakers on Monday.

Jayson Tatum added 25 points, Jaylen Brown had 19 points and Derrick White chipped in with 18 points and 11 assists for Boston, which has won three straight and 12 of its last 14.

“Honestly, we all know if we push the pace, one of us will get a chance. And I feel like when we have that energy and you know that if I’m running to my spot and I’m running to my lanes, I’m going to get the ball, it just makes everybody do it a lot harder,” said Jrue Holiday, who is 18 points and 7 assists.

Anthony Davis scored a game-high 40 points with 13 rebounds, LeBron James had 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, but the Lakers have lost six of eight since winning the first Offseason Tournament.

“I don’t think we’re healthy right now. “I don’t think we’re where we want to be to compete against the best teams until we keep getting better and better, keep developing habits,” James said. “For us, we’re still trying to figure out our situation as far as wanting to keep attacking every game, but we’re going to improve.”

It was the third game on Christmas Day between the league’s two most historic franchises. The Minneapolis Lakers won in Boston in 1951 and Los Angeles won in 2008.

The Celtics outscored the Lakers’ starting lineup, scoring the first 12 points, capped by a 3-pointer by Brown, and led by as many as 18 in the first quarter.

After trailing for the only time of the game early in the third quarter when Jared Vanderbilt threw a dunk, Boston rattled off seven straight points to regain the lead.

Boston successfully held Los Angeles at arm’s length in the final quarter, despite Davis hitting the 40-point mark for the 40th time in a regular season game.

Every Boston starter had at least four points in the first quarter and did so again in the fourth. As Porzingis noted, with slightly better 3-point shooting, this could have been an even more emphatic victory. The Celtics finished 13 of 42 (31%) from 3.

“I’m very happy with the play we had as a team,” Porzingis said. “And honestly, we played really good basketball. We just didn’t do or shoot what we normally shoot outside. But other than that, I think we played really well.”

There were too many mistakes elsewhere for the Lakers to capitalize on a rare occasion where they were the better team from long range, shooting 40.6% from 3 (13-of-32).

Coach Darwin Hamm compiled a list of mistakes almost as long as Santa Claus, the details of which Los Angeles can’t afford to get bored if it wants to compete for a late-season championship. They ranged from transition defense to rebounding to turnovers.

Davis pointed to one of his missed free throws in the decisive third quarter as a small mistake that made a big difference.

“You always think about shots you could have made, defensive plays you could have made, tackles you could have had, penalties I could have taken, things like that that could have changed the game,” Davis said. “I missed a free throw in the third quarter and they ended up getting a fast break 3 and all I was thinking was, if I make the free throw, it’s not going to happen.”

Both teams got a scare when Brown and James were rocked in a collision with 4:02 left in the second. Brown was coming back to the ball when he took a bad step and pulled, leading to James kneeing him in the back. Each player was served on the court, with Brown returning to the locker room before returning to start the third quarter.

NEXT

Celtics: Host Detroit on Thursday.

Lakers: host Charlotte on Thursday.

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