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Paul Pierce put up 24 points, dished out six assists and grabbed seven rebounds in a huge blowout win against the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night, 116-95. Six of the Boston Celtics’ scored in double figures while only three did for the Lakers. This is the Celtics’ sixth straight win even though the Lakers came into the TD Garden winning six of their last seven contests.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting and was the lone starter to score in double figures. He was a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line. Dwight Howard finished with nine points and nine rebounds while playing in his first game back after missing the last three with a shoulder injury.
The Celtics played pretty good basketball in the first quarter and were up 27-23 after one. The second quarter was a whole different story as Jeff Green and Jason Terry came off the bench strong and helped the Celtics build a 14 lead at the half.
Pierce, Green and Terry all helped out in a huge 37-point third quarter for the Celtics. There was one stretch where Terry hit a three, Green dunked off a Celtics’ steal and Pierce put the Celtics up 26 with a deep three that rolled in after a huge Green rejection on the other end.
After about five minutes in the fourth quarter, the Celtics grabbed a 32-point cushion on Terry dunk. The Celtics’ starters basically sat out the entire fourth quarter. There were several electrifying dunks by Green, who will not be a part of the 2013 dunk contest at the All-Star game.
Kevin Garnett finished with 15 points and three steals, and had a historic night by scoring his 25,000th career point. Garnett is now among the 16 elite players, such as Bryant and Michael Jordan, to score 25,000 points. He reached this milestone in the second quarter.
Green and Terry combined for 34 points off the bench and really helped the Celtics cruise in the second and third quarters.
The Celtics will return to action on Sunday against the Denver Nuggets at the Garden, while the Lakers now head to Charlotte to face the Bobcats on Friday.