Lakers forward Metta World Peace steals the ball from Celtics center Kevin… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)
Lakers 113, Celtics 99 (final)
Honoring the memory of late owner Dr. Jerry Buss, the Lakers played one of the best games of the season, beating the Boston Celtics, 113-99, on Wednesday night at Staples Center.
After Kobe Bryant asked the Staples Center crowd for a moment of silence, the Lakers took out their longtime rivals by 14 points, improving to 26-29 on the season.
Dwight Howard led the Lakers with 24 points and 12 rebounds in a dominant shooting performance (10 of 13).
The Lakers had seven scorers in double figures, including 16 from Kobe Bryant, 15 from Antawn Jamison, 14 apiece from Earl Clark and Steve Nash, 12 from Metta World Peace and 10 from Steve Blake.
The Lakers shot 50.6% from the field and 71% from the free-throw line (22 of 31). Boston took 20 free throws, making 12.
Paul Pierce was unstoppable in the first half with 23 points but finished the game with 26. Courtney Lee scored 20 and Jeff Green chipped in 15 as the Celtics shot 47.6% from the field.
The Celtics kept the game close early while shooting 45% from three-point range but ultimately fell to 28-26 in defeat.
The Lakers doubled up Boston on the offensive glass, 14-7, winning the overall rebounding battle, 49-34. Clark collected a career-high 16 rebounds.
Bryant and Nash led the Lakers with seven assists apiece.
The Lakers next host the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.
Lakers 90, Celtics 76 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers extended their lead to 19 in the third quarter. Boston closed the gap slightly to 14 on Avery Bradley's tip-in with 0.9 seconds left in the quarter.
Dwight Howard led the Lakers with 22 point and 11 rebounds, although he had five turnovers. Earl Clark and Antawn Jamison climbed into double figures with 10 apiece as the Lakers shot 53.1% from the field.
Paul Pierce scored only three points in the quarter after putting in 23 in the first half. Courtney Lee helped Boston's cause with 15.
Both Kobe Bryant and Howard were given technical fouls for arguing calls in the third quarter.
Lakers 64, Celtics 55 (halftime)
The Lakers are neutralizing a big night from Paul Pierce to hold onto their nine-point lead at halftime.
Pierce scored 23 points on nine-of-15 shooting, including four of seven from three-point range. The Celtics shot 49% from the field and 50% from behind the arc (six of 12) and yet the Lakers held on.
Four Lakers scored in double figures: Dwight Howard (15 points), Kobe Bryant (14), Steve Nash (12) and Metta World Peace (10).
The Lakers had a nine to five advantage on the offensive glass and a 28-19 edge overall in rebounding. They shot 51.1% from the field and 41.7% from three-point range (five of 12).
The biggest difference was at the free-throw line, where the Lakers made 13 of 18 shots. Boston has four points on free throws.
Lakers 36, Celtics 27 (end of first quarter)
Before their battle against the Boston Celtics, the Lakers took a moment to honor Dr. Jerry Buss, the team's longtime owner who passed away Monday.
Kobe Bryant spoke to the Staple Center crowd before tip, calling Dr. Buss the “greatest owner in sports ever."
"We are all spoiled by his vision and his drive to win year after year after year," said Bryant, followed by a moment of silence.
The Celtics opened strong, building a quick five-point lead but Dwight Howard and the Lakers then took control.
Howard finished with 12 points and six rebounds in 11 minutes. Kobe Bryant scored 10 points, mostly at the free-throw line where he made six of seven, and had two assists.
The Lakers, who shot 52.2% from the field, led by as many as 11.
Boston got 10 points from Paul Pierce. As a team, the Celtics shot 54.5% from the field and 50% from three-point range (two of four but still trailed by nine after one.
The Lakers owned a 15-6 advantage on the boards.
The Lakers (25-28) host the Celtics (28-25) on Wednesday night at Staples Center, their first game since the passing of owner Jerry Buss.
The Celtics recently destroyed the Lakers in Boston but they're flying in late from Denver after losing 97-90 on Tuesday night. The Lakers should have the advantage, having not played since last Thursday.
The Lakers need a win to continue their push to make the playoffs in the West. Given how poorly they played the last time they met the Celtics, it's difficult to pick the Lakers.
For a more indepth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Celtics.
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