Lakers 88, Celtics 87 (OT): Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Survive In Boston

Kobe Bryant came on strong in the second half and took over the game, finishing with a game-high 27 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers past the Boston Celtics, 88-87, in overtime on Thursday evening at TD Garden in Boston, MA.

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Kobe Bryant Isn't Up To Speed On Knicks' Jeremy Lin, 'Linning'

BOSTON - Kobe Bryant didn't know what the heck we were talking about. When the Los Angeles Lakers star guard sat down for postgame interviews following his team's 88-87 win over the Boston Celtics on Thursday, he faced a barrage of questions -- not about the game, but about Harvard grad and the New York Knicks newest sensation, Jeremy Lin.

"What? I have no idea, I mean I know who he is, but I don't really know what's going on too much with that," Bryant said when asked about Lin and what he's done in the past week.

Well, Kobe, here's a crash course on Lin. Basically, he's become the NBA's version of Tim Tebow. All he does is win. In his last three games, Lin has averaged 25.3 points and 8.3 assists in extended minutes. In short, he's been "Linning."

You would be hard pressed to find basketball fans who haven't heard of Lin by now. After all, it's been extremely overhyped by the New York media, and even some in the national media have taken a bite into the Asian rising star.

Not Kobe, though. When asked again about Lin, he maintained his answer of ignorance.

"I don't even know what he's done, like I have no idea what you guys are talking about," Kobe insisted. "I'll take a look at it tonight, though."

Bryant and the Lakers travel to the Big Apple to face Lin and the Knicks on Friday night, a game that Kobe knows his team needs to beat to maintain its new-found success.

"Well, we have to get a win. We have to go in there and play well. You know, we've played extremely poorly against teams that have been undermanned. Tomorrow we have to try to break that."

For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team page and blog, CelticsBlog

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Kobe Bryant And His Love/Hate Relationship With The Celtics

Kobe Bryant has played many a game against the rival Boston Celtics, but despite the natural rivalry, the Los Angeles Lakers legend has developed a love/hate relationship with the team that cost him a championship back in 2007-08.

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Lakers 88, Celtics 87 (OT): Kobe Bryant, L.A. Survive In Boston

BOSTON - Kobe Bryant could only be kept at bay for so long. Bryant wasn't much of a factor in the very early stages of the game, but Kobe locked in for the final three quarters to lead the Los Angeles Lakers past the Boston Celtics, 88-87, in overtime on Thursday.

"I thought our execution the whole game was terrible," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "I thought this was an awful game, except for they won. If we had won it, it would've been an awful game that we won. That's how I felt. So, just thought our execution was off."

Bryant, who finished with a game-high 27 points, only scored two points in the fourth quarter, but Los Angeles was still able to force overtime, tying the game up 82-82 at the end of regulation. Ray Allen (22 points) hit a clutch three with 1:08 left in regulation, putting Boston on top 82-80. Pau Gasol (25 points, 14 rebounds) kept L.A. alive after Steve Blake was bailed out on a missed jumper by Bryant, who got his rebound and launched a twisting jumper. Gasol soared to the rim and tipped the ball in to tie it. Mickael Pietrus' desperation three at the buzzer was no good, forcing overtime.

"We set a pick and roll there with me and Ray," said Paul Pierce (18 points) about the final play of regulation. "Ray was the flare and I didn't think he was open. I shouldn't have picked up my dribble. It kind of broke up the play when I picked up my dribble."

Quickly, the Lakers went ahead 86-82 on two jumpers from Bryant and Blake. Pierce, who had seven points at halftime and really dialed up his game in the second half, made a 16-foot jumper and then hit a clutch three with 1:51 left, giving the Celtics an 87-86 edge. Alas, Andrew Bynum delivered the dagger with a tip shot from a foot out at the 1:29 mark.

Several wasted possessions could have doomed the Celtics, and in retrospect they did, but the C's were still able to ge the ball in Pierce's hands on the final play, but he missed a trademarke fadeaway that sealed the victory for the Lakers.

"One of them I didn't make the pass, the second one I just missed the shot," Pierce said of the sequence of events at the end of regulation and overtime.

"The Lakers defense had a lot to do with the play. They clogged the lane especially if we don't fast break. It gets into a half court battle to where they sit in the lane and force you to shoot jumpers. I thought the shots that we got were good shots and they don't break themselves. It's kind of like if we don't break and they don't break it's just like walk down, set something up, and vice versa."

Boston will have to recover quickly, as it head north of the border to face a struggling Toronto Raptors squad at 7:00 p.m. EDT on Friday night at the Air Canada Centre.


Final - 2.9.2012 1 2 3 4 OT 1 Total
Los Angeles Lakers 22 23 22 15 6 88
Boston Celtics 26 21 17 18 5 87

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Celtics Vs. Lakers Halftime Score: Boston Leads Los Angeles, 47-45

BOSTON - Ray Allen helped the Boston Celtics get off to a hot start and build an early lead, but the Los Angeles Lakers battled back to cut the C's lead to 47-45 at halftime of the two team's nationally televised affair on Thursday night at TD Garden in Boston, MA.

Allen scored a game-high 12 points in the opening half to lead Boston, which shot 44 percent from the field. Paul Pierce finished the half with seven points and Kevin Garnett chipped in with eight points and four rebounds. Rajon Rondo had no problem getting to the hoop and totaled six points and four assists in the first half for Boston.

Kobe Bryant rebounded from a slow start to finish the half with 11 points. Andrew Bynum was a force, taking over the paint with little opposition, totaling nine points and nine rebounds. Pau Gasol had a team-best 12 points in the half for L.A., which shot 41 percent in the half.



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Celtics Vs. Lakers: Previewing The Game With Silver Screen And Roll

Chris Clark, managing editor of Silver Screen And Roll -- the Los Angeles Lakers blog on the SB Nation network, took some time to answer questions before Thursday's Lakers and Boston Celtics game. Questions in bold, answers below.

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are two of the biggest rivals in all of sports. There's such a magnificent history between the two teams, not to mention an extreme pedigree of success. There have been some great rivalries within the rivalry, such as Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, and more recently, Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce. Where do you think the Kobe-Pierce rivalry ranks in the history of this storied rivalry?

Clark: I've never thought of this latest incarnation of the rivalry as boiling down specifically to Kobe-Pierce. Bird-Magic is the obvious number 1, because those guys were set up as rivals before they even got to the pros. After that, I'd give the nod to Jerry West vs. the entire Red Auerbach era, because that's often how those match ups played out. Kobe's relationship with the C's is similar, but these last two Finals meetings between the two were filled with so many starring roles for other guys like Derek Fisher, Ray Allen, KG, Pau Gasol, that the 2010 vintage really has been team vs. team.

Obviously, these two teams and cities aren't fond of each other. But for true Celtics and Lakers fans, it seems there is a sense of admiration for one another. Do you feel that there is a sense of respect for the Celtics franchise among Lakers fans?

Clark: I don't know if admiration is the word I'd choose, but I certainly think there's a healthy respect of the Celtics amongst Lakers fans, and beyond that, a certain level of comfort, Celtics-Lakers is one of those rare rivalries absent of one specific emotion ... jealousy. The Lakers and Celtics are truly the only two fanbases in the league (with maybe the Bulls and Spurs thrown in as well) where you know the hatred isn't driven by an envy of what the other fanbase has gotten to enjoy. You've got more banners (barely), we've got a slightly better history of sustained success, and neither side would trade the players, styles, or personalities that have gotten us here. Our mutually exclusive success both ensures that the rivalry is healthy, and ensures that we don't need to worry about bitter envy being a part of it.

Boston and Los Angeles are two teams in somewhat of a similar situation. Both feature aging rosters that have struggled somewhat to compete in their respective conference, and even in their own divisions. Which team, the Celtics or the Lakers, do you see having a brighter future in the next five years and which team is in better shape to rebuild faster?

Clark: I have to give the nod to the Lakers, for a couple reasons. The first is that, when talking about the future, you can really only talk about one or two building blocks, and the Lakers have the better one to build a team around. I like Rajon Rondo as a player just fine, but I just don't see a team being built around him as the primary component unless he has a bunch of talented players (kind of like the current Big Three) to work with. Andrew Bynum, on the other hand, is definitely the type of guy you can specifically build a team around. The other reason why the nod goes to LA is because, while the C's and Lakers are both aging squads, they do it in different ways. The C's are aging because their core is aging. KG, Truth and Jesus are all winding down their careers, and the rest of the squad (besides Rondo) around them isn't that old, they just aren't that good. The Lakers core is in better shape. Kobe may be the oldest 33 in the league, but he's still only 33, and he's putting up some of the best numbers of his career. Pau Gasol is 31, and Andrew Bynum is still a baby. All three have played well this season, it is their supporting cast that has looked incredibly old and slow, with Derek Fisher (37) and Metta World Peace (32) leading the way. Looked at in this manner, supporting casts are easier to replace than cores.

With the emergence of the Los Angeles Clippers, it appears that the Lakers aren't even the best team in their own city. What has the reaction been to the Clippers' resurgence among the Lakers fan base? Do you think the Clippers will be able to sustain their new found success over a long period of time, and what have Chris Paul and Blake Griffin done to help spark the Clippers-Lakers rivalry?

Clark: I think the only bitterness we have to the Clippers finally having a good thing going is due to the fact that they basically stole our good thing. Well, that's not true, David Stern stole our good thing, but the Clippers ended up the benefactor. Other than that, let's just say if the world expected Los Angeles to instantly become a Clippers town, that just hasn't happened. Lakers games still dwarf Clippers games in all facets (except the whole winning part). When the Clips play the Lakers in Staples, the Lakers are still the home team no matter what. Chris Paul and (much moreso) Blake Griffin have done a lot to create an intensity in the matchup, but I can't call it a rivalry because it lacks the respect we spoke of earlier.

The latest trade rumors surround the Celtics and Lakers, as reports have surfaced that a Rajon Rondo for Pau Gasol swap may interest both teams. In Boston, that move doesn't seem to make a lot of sense for a team like the Celtics, who are on the brink of a rebuilding period. Do you think this rumor has any base to it, and who else (or what picks) would the Lakers send to Boston to help sweeten the pot in a potential deal?

Clark: I sure hope the rumor is off base, because I can't imagine a worse move for either team. Getting rid of Rondo for Gasol leaves Boston with no offense to speak of, no one who can create shots, and it leaves the C's more unbalanced because most of your best players are already in the frontcourt. As for the Lakers, having a point guard like Rondo would be awesome, but as much as a PG is needed, Rondo's not the right guy to fill the need. The Lakers need shooting to space the floor so guys like Kobe and Drew can have room to work, and Rondo can't shoot. Rondo needs a great roll guy to run the pick and roll with, and the Lakers don't really have one. Of all the great point guards in the league, Rondo is the one I'd want on the Lakers the least, and that is not a reflection of my opinion of his game.

Prediction time. Whenever the Celtics and Lakers meet, it's a good game. Which team will walk away with the win on Thursday night?

Clark: I think the Lakers will steal it, simply because they've been playing better the last few games, and that hasn't translated into winning yet, which is sure to leave them angry and ready.



For more Celtics and Lakers coverage, visit CelticsBlog and Silver Screen And Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Celtics Game Time, TV Schedule And More

All eyes will be on the TD Garden Thursday night when the Boston Celtics host their most hated rival, the Los Angeles Lakers, in a match-up of the two teams currently standing in seventh place in their respective conferences.

More: Celtics vs. Lakers preview

The Celtics, winners of five straight, have a chance to climb within two and a half games of division-leading Philadelphia with a win, which would be just their second against a Western Conference foe this season.

Forward Paul Pierce surpassed Larry Bird for second-place on the Celtic' all-time scoring list during Boston's Tuesday night win against Charlotte, and can now set his sights on John Havlicek's franchise-leading mark.

Here is more broadcast information on the game.

Game Date/Time: Thursday, February 9, 8 p.m.

Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA.

TV Schedule: TNT

Radio Schedule: WEEI (93.7 FM/850 AM)

For more Celtics and Lakers coverage, visit our blogs CelticsBlog and Silver Screen And Roll.

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Paul Pierce, Kobe Bryant Are Some Of The Last Of A Dying Breed

Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant are some of the last of a dying breed: lifers in sports. Pierce and Bryant have played for one team, the Celtics and Lakers respectively, for their entire careers, and each established championship pedigrees.

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Celtics Vs. Lakers: Rivals Clash As Boston Hosts Los Angeles

Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics (14-10) host Kobe Bryant and the rival Los Angeles Lakers (14-11) in a clash of rivals in front of a national audience at 8:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday at TD Garden in Boston, MA (TV/Radio: TNT/WEEI).

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