Ray Allen broke the NBA career three-point record with his 2,561st three in the first quarter and finished with 20 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Los Angeles Lakers edged the Boston Celtics, 92-86, on Thursday night at TD Garden.
This was the second time that the two rivals have met in the last 11 days. Boston defeated L.A., 109-96, in the first meeting on January 30th.
Kobe Bryant scored 23 points to lead the Lakers (37-16). Pau Gasol had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Andrew Bynum added 16 points and nine boards. Shannon Brown scored 12 points and Lamar Odom had 10 points off the bench for Los Angeles.
Los Angeles shot 47.9% from the field and 30% from three-point range. The Lakers amassed 47 rebounds, 20 assists, three steals, six blocks and had 13 turnovers.
Paul Pierce had 15 points in the losing effort for Boston (38-14). Kevin Garnett finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds and Kendrick Perkins added 12 points and nine rebounds. Rajon Rondo had 12 points and 10 assists, Glen Davis had nine points and Von Wafer scored eight off the bench for the Celtics.
Boston made only 13-of-43 shots in the second half and shot 40.2% from the floor in the game while shooting 31.3% from long range. The Celtics finished with 36 rebounds, 25 assists, four steals, seven blocks and eight turnovers in the loss.
Allen and the Celtics opened up a 27-20 lead after the first quarter and outscored Los Angeles 26-25 in the second quarter to take a 53-45 lead into the break.
However, L.A. found new life in the second half, due in part to a resurgence from Bryant, who scored 20 of his 23 points in the second half. The Lakers outscored Boston 27-15 in the third quarter and 20-18 in the final twelve minutes to seal the victory.
Boston returns to action on Sunday when it hosts Eastern Conference foe Miami at 1 p.m. EST. Los Angeles faces New York in its next game on Friday night at 8 p.m. EST.