Celtics Lose Crucial Game to the Lakers 97-94

With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, today's game against Los Angeles was important for a lot of reasons. It's always tense when the Celts play the Lakers, and today was no different. The 21-18 Celtics were trying to get to the top of the Atlantic Division, while the 24-16 Lakers were coming off a thrilling last minute win against the Mavericks on friday.

The Celtics played a really bad first quarter, but quickly regained their composure thanks to some fantastic consistent court vision from rondo, and some great court spacing.

The first half ended with the Lakers on top, 44-42

Andrew Bynum played really well for the lakers in the first half with 11 points and 10 rebounds, but seemingly was struggling at the end of the half and went to the locker room early with a bruised right knee. For the Celtics, Rondo had 10 points and 3 assists.

Bynum did return in the third quarter. In the Lakers first 2 posessions of the quarter, they turned it over twice, and the Celtics were able to take advantage, getting their first lead of the game. Halfway through the third, Metta World Peace and Paul Pierce got tangled up and were called for double technicals. Unfortunately for the Celtics, the little bruhaha seemingly energized World Peace and led him to score 10 points in the quarter.

The third quarter ended with the Lakers up 72-70. Rondo led all scorers through this point with 20.

The fourth quarter was a bevy of back and forth basketball, totally encompassing the Boston vs. Los Angeles rivalry. Tons of lead changes. Tons of high energy basketball. The roar of the Staples Center. With less than a minute remaining, Kobe scored a huge go ahead bucket to take the lead 95-94. On the next LA possession, Andrew Bynum scored a baby hook to give  the Lakers a three point lead, and put some serious pressure on Boston. The Celtics missed 2 shots on the last possession and the Los Angeles Lakers came away with the W.