Celtics blast Lakers to complete dominant 3-1 California road trip

Celtics blast Lakers to complete dominant 3-1 California road trip

KRISTAPS Porzingis scored 28 points and had 11 rebounds to lead the visiting Boston Celtics to a 126-115 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday.

Mr. Porzingis, who did not play in Boston’s win against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday because of an ankle injury, helped the Celtics overcome a 40-point performance by Lakers center Anthony Davis, who shot 15 of 26 from the field.

Mr. Davis also pulled down 13 rebounds.

The Lakers trailed by nine points after three quarters and trailed by at least eight points throughout the fourth. Los Angeles never led by more than two points.

Boston’s Jayson Tatum finished the game with 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. The Celtics also received 18 points and 11 assists from Derrick White, 19 points from Jaylen Brown and an 18-point effort from Jrue Holiday.

Taurean Prince (17 points), LeBron James (16), Rui Hachimura (12) and Austin Reaves (11) also scored in double figures for the Lakers.

Mr. James, who had nine rebounds and eight assists, collided with Brown with 4:02 remaining in the first half, but both returned to the game.

It was the final game of Boston’s four-game California road trip. The Celtics went 3-1 in those contests.

The Celtics scored the game’s first 12 points. The Lakers didn’t get on the scoreboard until Cam Reddish sank a 3-pointer with 8:59 remaining in the first quarter. 

Boston extended its lead to 32-14 with 3:11 left in the opening quarter, but Los Angeles ended the frame with a 9-0 run and trailed 32-23 after 12 minutes.

The Lakers tied the game, 52-52, on a Prince 3-pointer with 2:04 remaining in the second quarter, but Boston led 58-57 at halftime. Los Angeles had its first lead of the game after a James basket made it 59-58 24 seconds into the third quarter.

The Celtics outscored the Lakers 41-33 in the period, however, and had a 99-90 advantage entering the fourth. After making a total of 47 3-pointers in their previous two games, the Celtics were 13 of 42 from deep.

Nuggets 120, Warriors 114

Jamal Murray scored 28 points, Nikola Jokic had 26 points and 14 rebounds and hit all 18 of his free-throw attempts, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Golden State Warriors 120-114.

Michael Porter Jr. finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds and Aaron Gordon added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets.

Denver has won five straight and eight of its last nine.

Andrew Wiggins scored 22 points off the bench, Stephen Curry scored 18 points, Dario Saric contributed 14 points and Jonathan Kuminga, Chris Paul and Brandin Podziemski scored 13 apiece for Golden State.

The Warriors had their five-game winning streak snapped.

The Nuggets led by three entering the fourth but Golden State scored the first six points to go in front 95-92.

Porter made a layup and Jokic fed Murray for a reverse dunk to give Denver a 100-97 lead.

Jokic and Wiggins traded baskets to keep the Nuggets in front by a point before they went on a small run to expand the lead to 114-107 with 2:02 left.

Curry answered with a 3-pointer for the Warriors but Jokic hit a running dunk and Murray drained two free throws to seal it for Denver.

The Nuggets led by as many as 10 in the first quarter but Golden State rallied in a back-and-forth second.

The Warriors put together a 15-3 run that gave them a 43-37 lead but Murray had seven points in a 9-2 run by Denver.

Curry didn’t score until he made a free throw with 5:46 left in the second quarter and finished with four points in the half but Golden State was able to take a 54-53 lead at intermission.

The teams continued to trade blows throughout the third quarter, with Curry and Murray dueling early in the period that resulted in the Warriors leading 65-63.

Jokic made two free throws to put the Nuggets ahead by four and Caldwell-Pope made a corner 3-pointer to increase the lead to 81-75.

Heat 119, 76ers 113

Jaime Jaquez Jr. recorded career highs with 31 points and 10 rebounds as the Miami Heat took advantage of the absence of injured Philadelphia star Joel Embiid in a 119-113 win over the visiting 76ers.

Bam Adebayo added 26 points and 15 rebounds for Miami, which won its third straight. Tyler Herro scored 22 points, Duncan Robinson had 16, and Kyle Lowry finished with 12.

Philadelphia battled back from a 21-point deficit early in the third quarter to tie the game at 86 after outscoring the Heat 37-23 in the period.

Adebayo scored to put the Heat ahead 110-104 with 2:26 remaining, and Tobias Harris missed a jumper on the other end before Robinson hit a 3-pointer on Miami’s next possession.

Adebayo sealed the victory after making two free throws with 51 seconds left to give the Heat a 117-106 lead.

Tobias Harris paced Philadelphia with 27 points. Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 25 points, Mo Bamba had 18, and De’Anthony Melton chipped in 15.

The Sixers lost for just the second time in their last 10 games while shooting 42.6% from the field and 17 of 45 (37.8%) from long distance.

Philadelphia guard Tyrese Maxey, who entered the game averaging 26.4 points per game, was held to 12 points on 4-of-20 shooting, including 1-for-8 from beyond the arc.

The Sixers fell to 0-4 this season without Embiid, who sat out due to a sprained right ankle.

Miami was without star Jimmy Butler, who missed his third straight game due to a strained left calf.

Philadelphia claimed an early 21-12 lead before the Heat closed on a 14-1 run to move ahead by four at the end of the opening quarter.

Miami carried the momentum into the second quarter and extended its lead to 60-43 on Adebayo’s dunk with 1:46 left in the half.

Herro scored 16 points in the first half for Miami, which held a 63-49 advantage at the break. Miami pushed its lead to 21 points early in the third quarter before Philadelphia responded with a 33-12 run to tie the game at 82-82

The Heat connected on 47.6% of their shots, including 12-of-32 (37.5%) from 3-point range, and improved to 9-0 on Christmas Day under coach Erik Spoelstra. — Field Level Media