The Lakers wake up on time

Rough and ugly game in a Garden that the Lakers won by a miracle. Davis improved. Kemba and Theis did not finalize to win.

The-Lakers-wake-up-on-time

Lakers and Celtics have not met for 11 months. It was on February 23 of last year, when the Angelenos won at the Staples and took revenge for a tough loss suffered a month earlier, at the Garden, by 32 points of difference. More than a year later, Frank Vogel's team visited the eternal rival's court to try to scratch a victory from a disparate tour of the East, and forget the last two games, which ended with shipwreck in Philadelphia and, above all, in Detroit , before the bottom of the League. And the Lakers achieved that victory ... one that at some point in the game it seemed that no team wanted and that they ended up serving in a dense, thick night and a tedious and ugly confrontation that, with many failures, opted for the Los Angeles side. The Celtics, in fact, had the ball to win after a visitor loss, one they added after a series of errors in the last 1:40 of the game, time that they went without scoring as they watched Boston approach from 89-96 to a 95-96. Neither Kemba Walker made the jump shot, nor Daniel Theis with the offensive rebound. And the Lakers prevailed.

The NBA rivalry par excellence is not going through its best moment, especially in terms of clashes for the title. They have not faced each other in the Finals since 2010, and since 1987, they only did, in addition, in 2008. The Celtics were about to sneak in last year in the final tie, but they could not with the Heat and they went home thinking in a summer full of possibilities, but in which they have not signed (almost) anything, apart from a Carsen Edwards who, via draft, has been their best news. The rookie is injured and the Celtics, who started flying, are 10-8, fifth in the East after the tidal wave of opponents who are competing for the title (Sixers, Nets and Bucks) and those who do not (the always safe Pacers) and without finding a regularly that they totally lost in Jayson Tatum's five away games. The forward, supreme leader of the historic franchise, added 30 points against the Lakers (he has 26.5 on average), but failed to lead his team to victory. The Celtics are trying to carry out a season that is being rare for everyone, but they speculate too much, they do not lengthen their moments of greater consistency and they speculate too much in certain games. Maturity will be seen in the playoffs, where they will show if they have what it takes to take the final step for the Finals or become eternal contenders.

The Lakers, by the way, are not to shoot rockets either. The West, which they led a few days ago, is now led by some Jazz on a roll, followed by the Clippers, that rival that is in crescendo while looking sideways at his older brother and considers, analytically, that he can beat it in a few playoffs in which, this year, they do not expect to be shipwrecked. The Clippers' good moment contrasts with that of the Lakers, who have gone from more to less this season. At no point have they stepped on the gas, but what they used to gain by inertia now costs them too much, and the loss to Detroit is a symptom of the rare moment that the team is experiencing. Anthony Davis has improved in the Garden (27 + 14), but he does not finish starting and LeBron goes back and forth indistinctly without showing signs of concern: against the Celtics, 21 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists, a discreet performance for what it is the. The long squad (Schröder, Kuzma and Harrell passed 10 goals), has allowed the Angelenos to come out of ignominious situations unscathed, but it does not seem that that will serve them all year. Although they know, of course, that the important thing comes in the playoffs.

The game didn't have much more, and the mere statistics show how tedious it was: no team went over 50% on field shots, 30% on triples or 70% on free kicks. And the Lakers lost 14 balls and the Celtics 15, seven of them in the fourth quarter, in which they scored just 17 points, their lowest of the season. The Angelenos are recovering from two defeats in a row, adding their 30th consecutive victory with the rival less than 100 points and breathing before the eternal rival in the duel 293 between both teams (161-132 for Boston). Jaylen Brown added 28 points and was the reference in attack alongside Tatum, while Marcus Smart was injured. And Kemba was a disaster that did not work at any time of the night (1 of 12 in field goals and 0 of 5 in triples). It was, by the way, the first time they had faced each other tied in the rings (17), since 1962. This year, due to historical responsibility, is key for both teams: the greens play against their own history and can see how they are surpassed on the ring chart for the first time in a long time. The Lakers aspire to lead it. At the moment, little brilliance and high expectations for the Lakers and Celltics, who are trying to solve their own problems and advance in an atypical season that will be resolved, you know, in the end.



Photos from as.com
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