Celtics’ 32-point win vs. Lakers the largest regular-season margin in rivalry in 50 years
The Boston Celtics delivered a glorious 32-point drumming of their longtime rival Los Angeles Lakers to their fans on Monday. The two teams with the most NBA titles squared off against one another on Martin Luther King Jr. Day with the premise of a midseason showdown, while point guard Kemba Walker hoped to end a winless streak against LeBron James, having lost the prior 28 times he matched up against him.
Monday’s 139-107 win was the largest regular-season win in this Celtics-Lakers rivalry in m0re than 50 years, according to ESPN Stats & Info. It was also only the seventh time in which this rivalry was decided by 30 points or more in the regular season.
James, who put up 15 points and 13 assists on the loss, saw no use in sugarcoating it:
“I mean, listen, it was just a good, old-fashioned butt whooping,” James said after L.A.’s 139-107 loss, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “That’s all. They beat us in all facets of the game: outside, interior, points off turnovers, offensive rebounds. So it’s the main ingredients in the L.”
The Celtics came out ready and firing, opening up a 14-point lead at halftime and stretching that to 24 points going into the fourth quarter, which would only grow to 32 by the end of regulation.
Boston won every quarter decisively and didn’t take its foot off the pedal, even when Walker and company got a well-deserved rest from head coach Brad Stevens. Walker, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown combined for 67 points in the shellacking, with Tatum’s 27 points leading the way. The Celtics shot a ridiculous 55.9% from the field against a typically stout Lakers defense.
The Celtics will have to face the Lakers again, though, this time at Staples Center on Feb. 23, shortly after players return from the All-Star break.