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Bryant and Lakers Stop Celtics in OT Classic

Kobe and the Lakers topped the Celtics in overtime on Thursday night. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

In the closing seconds of Thursday night’s overtime game against the Lakers, the Celtics found themselves a point down. Paul Pierce fired a potential game-winner, but the shot rimmed out.

Ray Allen grabbed the rebound and sent up one final prayer, but Pau Gasol blocked it as as time expired. The Lakers beat the Celtics in overtime, 88-87. It was a tough defeat for Boston, who had won five straight and nine of their last eleven.

Lakers Overtake Celtics in Third

The Celtics had control of the game for the most part up until the third quarter, when Los Angeles went on an 8-0 run, taking their first lead of the game. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers overall with 27 points, 12 of which came in the third.

After spending about half of the fourth quarter playing catch up, the Celtics finally retook the lead when Mickael Pietrus knocked down a three-pointer. But Bryant tied it back up and the teams traded points until regulation came to a close.

The Lakers came out strong in overtime, but again the Celtics responded, taking an 87-86 lead after a Pierce three with 1:51 remaining. However it was a strong defensive play by Gasol which ended things, as the Celtics fell to 14-11 overall as they slowly try to climb the standings in the East.

Pierce played an impressive 48 minutes, scoring 18 points. Allen led the Celtics offensively with 22 points, and Pietrus hit three three-pointers off the bench.

Los Angeles was too strong though, with Gasol finishing with 25 points and 14 rebounds. The Celtics were out-rebounded 55-45, as Andrew Bynum recorded 17 himself. Clearly the biggest problems in the loss were rebounding as well as moving the ball. Boston will look to correct their ways when they take on the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.

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