Despite having Anthony Davis back from injury, the Los Angeles Lakers still suffered an embarrassing 139-107 defeat at the hands of the Boston Celtics on Monday night at TD Garden. According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, the Lakers’ 32-point loss in Boston was their worst of the season and one of the worst defeats in the history of their rivalry with the Celtics. In a post-game interview, Lakers superstar LeBron James didn’t give any excuses for their dismal performance against the Celtics, simply describing their loss as a “good, old-fashioned butt whooping.”
“I mean, listen, it was just a good, old-fashioned butt whooping,” James said. “That’s all. They beat us in all facets of the game: outside, interior, points off turnovers, offensive rebounds. So it’s the main ingredients in the L.”
The Lakers started the game strong, posting an 8-0 run in the first 53 seconds of the first quarter. Unfortunately, the Celtics managed to bounce back and gained mastery of the Lakers, resulting in them taking control of the game until the end. For Davis, one of the major reasons behind the Lakers’ blowout loss against the Celtics was their poor rebounding and turnovers.
“We didn’t rebound,” Davis said. “Offensive rebounds killed us. We had some turnovers. [They were] more physical. They basically did whatever they wanted the whole night. We didn’t respond.”
Davis is definitely right. In their recent game, the Celtics finished with 48 rebounds, while the Lakers only had 36 rebounds and committed 15 turnovers. Also, while the Celtics established an above-average performance on the offensive end of the floor, the Lakers just shot 43.8 percent from the field and 26.9 percent from beyond the arc. As expected from a player who missed several games due to injury, Davis still didn’t look like his usual self on Monday night. In 23 minutes of action, the 26-year-old center/power forward only finished with nine points, four rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one steal, and hit three of his seven field-goal attempts.
When the Lakers were down 14 at halftime, Coach Frank Vogel said that he urged his players to level up their intensity in the third quarter. Unfortunately, unlike their previous games, the Lakers failed to find a way to respond to the Celtics’ explosives and buried themselves deeper up to the fourth quarter.
Despite their embarrassing loss against the Celtics, the Lakers still hold the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference. Their upcoming game will be against the New York Knicks on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.