The Los Angeles Lakers upset the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics, 114-105, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis both out. This much-needed win comes after back-to-back road losses against the Houston Rockets and the Atlanta Hawks, where LeBron posted cryptically on X/Twitter after the game. In a postgame interview, he said, “I don’t have any message for my teammates. Just go out and do your job.”
Lakers Austin Reaves Career High in Big Win
The Lakers had fallen to 24-25 on the season after the loss to Atlanta, and before the nationally televised game between the Lakers longtime rivals, Boston, James and Davis were ruled out due to injuries. The two leaders of the franchise would end up spectators from the bench as 3rd-year guard Austin Reaves put on a clinic scoring 32 points and hitting a career-high seven of ten 3-pointers to get Los Angeles a big win over the 37-12 Boston Celtics. Lakers defensive wing Jarred Vanderbilt left the game due to right foot soreness before halftime but put up an impressive stat line of 10 points, shooting two of three from downtown, with seven rebounds and three steals in only 16 minutes.
Reaves with his 7th triple of the night 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Rsjj4CqVCt
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 2, 2024
Before the game, Reaves said, “We’re all talented players. And this was an opportunity to show the world what you can do. Look, the least we can do is we can do is go out there and play as hard as we can and live with the results.”His teammates responded with D’Angelo Russell adding 16 points, shooting 4 for eight from three, securing eight rebounds and a season-high 14 assists for the Lakers. The Lakers made 19 of 36 3-point attempts, 53%, which is excellent considering they currently attempt the lowest number of threes per game at 30.4 and make the second fewest threes, only ahead of the 6-41 Detroit Pistons. Jaxson Hayes had an excellent performance in his second straight start for the injured Anthony Davis, putting up 16 points and using his seven foot three wingspan to his advantage, grabbing ten boards and three steals on the night.
Can Celtics Bounce Back After Home Losses
"Stretches of bad basketball happen."
Joe Mazzulla reacts to tough loss to the Lakers, and how playing without AD and LeBron James impacted both teams pic.twitter.com/xmXTzvVht5
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) February 2, 2024
After a late run in the third quarter, Boston cut the Lakers’ lead to six but never got closer than that for the rest of the fourth quarter. The Boston Celtics were 22-2 at TD Garden on the season before Thursday night’s loss and have lost three of their last five games at home. After the game, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla said, “It just happens. Stretches of bad basketball happen.” Luckily for the Celtics there next matchup is against an injured Memphis Grizzles team currently with a 18-30 record.
Lakers Look to Build on Momentum in Madison Square Garden
The Lakers will head to the Big Apple on Saturday night to take on the surging New York Knicks who have moved from the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference to the third seed since trading for Toronto Raptors OG Anonoby When asked about LeBron and Davis’s return, Reaves quoted LeBron saying, “Go out and do your job, and I feel like that’s just what we did tonight,” Reaves went on saying postgame, “We gave it 110% on the defensive end. We competed. We didn’t foul much. Just bringing those two back, we must continue doing the same thing.”