Los Angeles at Boston
8:00 P.M. ET
Boston: 100.2 points/100 possessions (20th)
Los Angeles: 105.3 points/100 possessions (8th)
Boston: 99.9 points allowed/100 possessions (6th)
Los Angeles: 102.8 points allowed/100 possessions (16th)
Probable Lakers Starters:
Steve Nash (PG), Kobe Bryant (SG), Metta World Peace (SF), Earl Clark (PF), and Robert Sacre (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: Forum Blue and Gold
Thumbnail: Make it five consecutive victories for the Celtics! They outscored the Raptors 30-16 in the fourth quarter on Wednesday and had one of their best comeback wins of the season. Boston hopes to bring this momentum from Canada to TD Garden on Thursday against the Lakers. In addition, Kevin Garnett could reach the 25,000-point milestone. If he scores six points, he would bring back flashbacks of Ray Allen’s record-setting night almost two years ago on the same stage. At TD Garden on February 10th, 2011, Allen surpassed Reggie Miller for the most three-pointers made all-time in a loss to the Lakers.
Now in 2013, the Allen-less Celtics have another player who will be rewriting the record books. Garnett hopes the result of the game is different this time around. The Celtics enter Thursday as winners of five consecutive games while the Lakers have been victorious in three straight and six of their last seven. However, Los Angeles will be without Pau Gasol, who is out for at least six weeks with a partial tear of his plantar fascia. The team could also be missing Dwight Howard, who has been out for the last three games with a shoulder injury.
While the Celtics bench did not impress as well as on Wednesday as it has been recently, Leandro Barbosa continues to step up with his increased playing time. For the third consecutive game, he scored in double-digits, his longest streak this season. Paul Pierce made up for the bench’s somewhat weak play with his 35th regular season double-double since 2007-08. The Celtics are now 29-6 in those games. Look for Pierce to continue his strong rebounding with both Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger sidelined.
Prediction: The Celtics push their winning streak to six games, which ties their season-best one in January.
Celtics 98, Lakers 95