The Lakers falter after roaring back in the 3rd quarter
Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with another all-around performance.
The Boston Celtics got Kyrie Irving in a trade that had them send Isaiah Thomas plus some other players to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a deal that unquestionably shook the balance in the Eastern Conference- if we are to look at the current positions of both squads. Even before that, the Celtics already had Gordon Hayward on board after Hayward decided to sign with Boston. So on paper, the Cs have two new players who can hopefully help them beat the Cavs come playoff time.
However, things didn't start well for Boston as they lost to the Cavs to open the season in a game which saw them lose Gordon Hayward who twisted his foot, 6 minutes into the game. After that, the Celtics next lost to the Milwaukee Bucks. Since then, Kyrie Irving and company haven't dropped a game coming into their game against their all-time rival, Los Angeles Lakers.
After watching the young Lakers trim down the lead to just 3 points late in the 3rd quarter, the Celtics outscored Los Angeles, 20-15 in the final quarter en route to a 107-96 victory over the Lakers in a game which Boston didn't have Al Horford due to injury and Jayson Tatum who was hurt during the game. Fortunately, the rest of the Celtics did more than enough to keep their winning streak going and below are the numbers that will explain how good were the Boston against the Lakers:
Terry Rozier and Aron Baynes: Because Kyrie Irving Cannot do it Alone
In a game where the Celtics were already without Hayward, Horford and now, Tatum, the Boston Celtics were clearly outmanned this time around against their archrivals.
Don't forget, folks, Kyrie Irving had a miserable shooting night, going 7 for 21 in the field while missing all 7 of his attempts from the three-point line. Fortunately, Aron Baynes scored 21 points in in just 23 minutes of play. Terry Rozier complimented Baynes and Marcus Morris' (18 points) outputs with 14 points on his own while coming off the bench. With Hayward missing out the entire season, Kyrie Irving cannot do it all alone and save the Celtics every now and then. Fortunately, he didn't have to do everything alone. He had help. Lots of it.
The Team that Makes more Shots, Wins
In a game where both teams were shooting under 50% (Lakers at 43% while Celtics at 38%), Boston won because they were able to make more shots than the Lakers, especially from the free throw line. In fact, it was the number of free throws which won the game for Boston as the Celtics made 24 of 31 31 charities which is a far cry to Los Angeles' 17 of 23 performance from the line.
If anything, the Celtics have already proven that yes, they can win even when Kyrie Irving was missing 14 shots. Their unimpressive victory against the struggling Lakers proved that yes, they are still a complete team even without Gordon Hayward. Imagine if Gordon Hayward was around. But then, the Celtics won't be needing Hayward around for now, especially if they are winning without him.