LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Lakers hosted their arch rival, the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, January 23 at the Staples Center. The Lakers won this thriller 108-107, due in large part to rookie phenom Kyle Kuzma’s 17 points down the stretch.
Slowly, but surely, the Purple and Gold have been slowly developing into a cohesive unit. The Los Angeles Lakers record is (18-29).
Jordan Clarkson scored 22 points in the sixth consecutive home win by the Lakers, who have won three straight and seven of nine overall during their best stretch of the season.
Kuzma scored 28 points on the night- he has 15, 20-point games this season, the most by a Lakers rookie since Eddie George in 1995.
Although the Lakers nearly squandered the lead with missed free throws in the final minutes blowing four free throws in the final 20 seconds. Marcus Smart missed a three point attempt at the buzzer that would have broken the fans hearts. Instead, the Celtics find themselves on a four game skid.
Celltics Point Guard Kyrie Irving poured in 33 points, Smart scored 22 in the loss.
This hallowed rivalry is always an event regardless of the records. The Lakers avenged a loss in Boston in November, when the Celtics pulled away late in Boston, winning 106-97.
“His fourth quarter was incredible,” said Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton. Kuzma struck in the fourth, dazzling the crowd with 13 points in the brief span of three minutes.
The highlight on the night was a Kuzma behind the back pass to Larry Nance Jr., who dunked it with authority. Lonzo Ball missed his fifth game in a row with a sore left knee. The Lakers will be on the road in the Wndy City, to face the Chicago Bulls on Friday, January 26.