Celtics coach Brad Stevens says the ‘basketball gods rewarded the [Lakers]’
The Boston Celtics might have won the trade deadline against the Los Angeles Lakers, as the New Orleans Pelicans stood pat and retained their prized talisman Anthony Davis, but the Celtics lost a clear chance to come out on top against the Lakers, falling in a heartbreaking 129-128 loss to the purple and gold.
Head coach Brad Stevens made no excuses, claiming the basketball gods rewarded the right team during the last play of the game, which saw Rajon Rondo burn his former team with a fadeaway jumper in the dying seconds of regulation.
Rajon Rondo's game-winner remixed with Chris Webber's famous "RONDOOOOO" call from 2009 pic.twitter.com/6cvF2sOY5i
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) February 8, 2019
“Our defense wasn’t very good,” Stevens said, according to Jay King of The Athletic. “I thought when we got the lead we really played passive offensively and defensively really until the late third quarter. … we just didn’t guard them tonight.”
“I thought the basketball gods rewarded the right team.”
The Lakers seemed destined to lose the game after Brandon Ingram missed a wild reverse attempt, but it was Tyson Chandler’s hustle that managed to poke the ball away, freeing up Rondo to turn off the lights at the TD Garden in poetic fashion.
The basketball gods find a way to reward effort, and it took Chandler sacrificing his body against two colliding big men for Rondo to take the spotlight and be hailed as the savior, coming off a disappointing 42-point loss to an injury-marred Indiana Pacers.
Stevens will likely have a chat with his team the next morning, hoping to tune out these kinds of outcomes before the All-Star break gets underway.