L.A. Lakers at Boston Celtics
When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, January 20, 2020
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Mass
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – The Boston Celtics will try to dig themselves out of a rut against the top team in the Western Conference when they continue a three-game home stand against the rival Los Angeles Lakers tonight. The Celtics dropped six of their last eight games after losing 123-119 to the Phoenix Suns on Saturday, despite Marcus Smart’s franchise-record 11 3-pointers.
“Right now, it means nothing,” Smart told reporters of his record after Boston fell to 2-3 over its last five home games, each loss coming to a sub-.500 team. “I’d trade all that in for a win, especially the way the team has been playing.” The latest setback came with star guards Kemba Walker (knee) and Jaylen Brown (thumb) sidelined, but the Lakers have managed to survive a big absence on their end by going 4-1 in the five games that Anthony Davis (back) has missed. LeBron James scored 31 points and three others hit the 20-point mark in Saturday’s 124-115 triumph at Houston, Los Angeles’ 10th win in 11 games overall.
TIME: 7:30 p.m. ET. TV: TNT, Spectrum SportsNet, TSN 4/5, RDS
ABOUT THE LAKERS (34-8): James was 13-of-25 from the floor and handed out 12 assists Saturday night to help Los Angeles bounce back from a one-point home loss to Orlando three days earlier. “We hated the loss that we had the other night against Orlando,” he told reporters. “So, we had a couple of days to kind of just reshape, refocus and start the second half of the season the right way, and we did that tonight.” Kyle Kuzma added 23 points while starting again in place of Davis, who is expected to return soon as the team navigates a five-game road trip.
ABOUT THE CELTICS (27-14): Smart attempted 22 from beyond the arc en route to his career-high 37 points while adding eight assists and four steals in Saturday’s loss. “He obviously was shooting confidently, made some big shots late into the game and into the half,” coach Brad Stevens told reporters. “He’s a tough guy and he got a lot of good looks and took advantage of it.” Jayson Tatum chipped in 26 points and is averaging 26.3 over his last four games.
- Former Celtic PG Rajon Rondo hit a game-winner in a 129-128 victory for the Lakers last season at TD Garden.
- Lakers SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is averaging 18.5 points – roughly double his season mark – over the past two games.
- Boston is giving up an average of 122.3 points during its three-game slide.