LeBron James told the media that the Lakers needed to stick to their game plan to find success, or failure, at the .500 mark.
On Tuesday, the Lakers used strong defense and a vintage performance from the King to defeat the Boston Celtics, 117-102.
Los Angeles survived and thrived in the paint all night, accumulating 66 points near the basket.
James scored 30 points and led both teams with a plus-18.
Los Angeles’ Big 3 in LBJ-AD-Westbrook combined for 71 points. Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook notched double-doubles on the evening, and Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker enjoyed a rebound game with 12 points, six rebounds, four assists, and a plus-16. THT’s recent streak on the hot seat took a break with his showcase against the Celtics.
LeBron and the offense had their two best quarters in the first and third as the collective scored 31 per period — addressing concerns with starting fast and winning the third.
As for the Celtics, they reverted to a one-man show in All-Star Jayson Tatum. Tatum tallied 34 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Ime Udoka‘s ensemble struggled all night to help Tatum out in scoring — evidently missing the injured Jaylen Brown.
Down by nearly 20 points at the start of the fourth quarter, the Celtics began hurling 3-pointers; meanwhile, Tatum stuck to finding his shot and being the only scorer for long stretches of the final 10 minutes.
“Tonight was one of the best games we’ve had so far,” said James after getting his awaited chance to lead a well-oiled Lakers team.
LA got over the hump and improved to 13-12, while Boston fell to 13-12.