Ten straight wins for the Celtics now, as the NBA’s best record at 10-2 belongs to the gritty team which spent a lot of dough on rebuilding this off-season. Without the presence of Al Horford tonight, the roster shifty ways of Brad Stevens relied on backup center Aron Baynes tonight to guide the now 10-2 Celtics to a 107-96 victory over Luke Walton and the LA Lakers.
Twenty three minutes logged in, Baynes racked up 21 points and 8 rebounds to go along with some sweet And-1 fouls that fortunately went his way to help guide the short handed C’s. Following the career best performance from the 6’10 Aussie, the star point guard Kyrie Irving continues his consistent raid on defenders, dropping 19 points to go along with 6 boards and 5 assists. Dazzling handles against the hyped Lonzo Ball at times, Irving got the crowd on its feet for some true basketball action. Forward Marcus Morris along with point guard Terry Rozier had 18 and 14 respectively to help keep tabs on the surging Lakers, who by the way, were trailing by 21 at most, but regained composure in the second quarter by setting up a major comeback. A 36 point 2 quarter helped the Lakers come within 9 at halftime. Boston was also led by all around guard Marcus Smart, scoring a mere 9 points then grabbing 4 boards and dishing out 6 assists.
For the really young Lakers squad, turnovers were the monkey on the back early on, but continued to self destroy the consistent drives. The second quarter, which was driven by a 36 point outburst, helped keep the Lakers within close proximity, but it was getting over the hump and taking the lead which never happened. An alarming 21 turnovers were caused from the vulnerable Lakers team, full of youth players on the brink of stardom. Led by forward Brandon Ingram and guard Jordan Clarkson, both of which had 18 points, the job was not fulfilled at TD Garden. For all fans in attendance, the emergence of rookie point guard Lonzo Ball has been very impressive to watch, not so much statistically shooting. Being an all around guard, Ball scored 9 points to go with 5 rebounds and 6 assists, something the Lakers have banked on since drafting Ball was to rely on his unearthly passing abilities. Big man Julius Randle collected 12 rebounds and contributed 16 points for the now 5-6 Lakers. A highly looked prospect coming out of Kentucky a few years back, Randle has been a solid fit with the Lakers despite his rookie year leg injury which cost him the season.
Without Al Horford in the lineup, the balanced C’s still find a way to victory against an emerging Lakers squad which is inexperienced but the futures look bright for the rookie prospects on both teams.
Next game: Friday vs Charlotte