By Tyler Sullivan Follow on Twitter @TylerSully
At the 1:42 mark of the fourth quarter, the Celtics had managed to get the Los Angeles Lakers lead down to just two points. It was at that moment where Kobe Bryant, who played his last game in Boston, channeled his former greatness and nailed a distant three point dagger to suck the life out of TD Garden and help his Lakers beat the C’s 112-104.
The Celtics were down by double digits, but the play from Evan Turner (20 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds) off the bench helped Boston crawl back in the game.
In his final game in Boston, Kobe finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists. A lot of speculation was going to be how Celtics fans would treat Bryant in his final game at the Garden. When he was introduced, he was welcomed with a standing ovation.
I did find it a little odd that he was getting the Kevin Garnett treatment late in the game with fans chanting his name. I expected an applause at the introduction and boos from then on out. There were boos, that Bryant appreciated, but not as many as some anticipated. Regardless, Boston fans were able to say goodbye to an NBA great.
- This is a game where the Celtics should have won. As cool as it was that Kobe was in town, his Lakers are not a good team. Boston seemed flat basically until the fourth quarter.
- Boston allowed the Lakers starting backcourt led by Jordan Clarkson and Lou Williams to go off scoring a combined 43 points.
- The rookies Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell both came off the bench and were impressive for LA. Randle recorded a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebonds while Russell dropped 16 points in 28 minutes.
- Marcus Smart continued to come off the bench and has a minutes restriction after returning from a lower leg injury. He played mideocre except for this play which make Mike Gorman and most Celtics fans say “He’s back!”
- Smart was benched for the first quarter in this game because he had a flat tire and missed shootaround.
- Amir Johnson had a horrible night. He was a -17 and recorded only 5 rebounds in 18 minutes.
- Isaiah Thomas continues to thrive as the teams starting point guard. Offensively he is solid. In this one he scored a team high 24 points to go with 6 assists. The biggest question mark with him is how he can handle is assignments defensively.
Next up for the Celtics is a big home-and-home series with the Brooklyn Nets. This obvious is where the C’s can help their own cause in the NBA Draft Lottery as they own the Nets unprotected 2016 first round pick.