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A Christmas showdown for the ages that one may not realize at first glance, was just a regular season game. The Celtics and the Lakers had a rematch of their NBA Finals meeting this past June where the Celtics dominated L.A. to win their 17th NBA title. The Lakers were looking for a bit of revenge and they got just that. L.A. took this edge-of-your-seat game tonight by winning 92-83.
This was a close game throughout and both teams had ups and downs, but the Celtics seemed to have a few more downs than the Lakers. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce led the scoring for the Celtics with 22 and 20 points respectively as Pierce also grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double. Ray Allen also had 14 points and Rajon Rondo dished out 12 assists.
The problem the Celtics had besides giving up too many turnovers (17 in total) was the lack of scoring from the bench. Tony Allen had six points off the bench out of the total 13 points for the bench. It’s a problem the Celtics have had this season and it continued to affect them tonight.
The Lakers were led by, big surprise here, Kobe Bryant who had 27 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists. Pau Gasol also had 20 points and, off the bench, both Lamar Odom and Sasha Vujacic had 10 points. The Lakers just had a little bit more to say with their bench and did not turn the ball over nearly as many times as the Celtics did.
My take on this game is not really a negative one. This game is just a regular season one, not a playoff match-up (even though it felt like one). The Celtics just won 19 games in a row and if they were going to lose one, then I personally would rather it happen to a team like the Lakers (and not during the playoffs!) then a team like the Warriors, who they play Friday night. Also, where are the Celtics right now? They are 27-3 and still on top of the Eastern Conference, not a bad place to be in.
This is just one game and although it was the Lakers, the Celtics did not lose much just by losing this game. If anything, it might have brought some perspective back to Celtics, realizing that they can be beaten and will still have to work hard to continue to win.