- Created on Thursday, 07 February 2013 17:39
Paul Pierce scored 24 points and led a third-quarter surge as the Boston Celtics routed the Los Angeles Lakers 116-95 on Thursday night, improving to 6-0 since losing point guard Rajon Rondo for the season with a torn knee ligament.
The Lakers had cut a 58-44 halftime deficit to 72-61 with 5:07 left in the third quarter. Then the Celtics went on a 23-8 run and led 95-69 going into the fourth. Pierce started the surge with a three-point play and ended it with a 3-pointer with 41 seconds left, giving him 12 points in the period.
The win was Boston's biggest of the season.
The Lakers had won six of their previous seven games, including all three without Howard, and had moved three games behind the Houston Rockets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
But they trailed by at least 11 points throughout the second half.
Previously, the Celtics' biggest win was 94-75 at Indiana on Jan. 4, and the Lakers' worst loss was 113-97 at Sacramento on Nov. 21.
Kevin Garnett had 15 points and became the 16th player in NBA history to score 25,000 when he hit an 11-foot turnaround jumper that gave him six for the game and put the Celtics ahead 39-29 with 8:08 left in the half. Jeff Green had 19 points and Jason Terry added 15.
Howard had nine points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes before fouling out with 5:07 left. Metta World Peace also was back after a one-game suspension for grabbing Detroit's Brandon Knight around the neck and striking him in the jaw with the knuckles of his mostly open hand in the Lakers' 98-97 win Sunday.
But Pau Gasol missed his first game since being sidelined indefinitely with a torn plantar fascia in his right foot.
Besides Rondo, rookie forward Jared Sullinger also is out for the season after undergoing back surgery and sat out his fourth game.
Just three years ago, the teams met in the NBA Finals with the Lakers winning in seven games. Only four players on those teams were active Thursday - Bryant and World Peace for Los Angeles and Pierce and Garnett for Boston. Gasol and Rondo also played in that series.
The Celtics led by 14 at halftime after hitting 51.1 percent of their shots while the Lakers kept missing open jumpers and sank just 37.8 percent of theirs, including just 2 of 12 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Los Angeles' last lead, 11-10, came on a 12-foot turnaround fadeaway by Bryant with 6:38 left in the first quarter.
Boston led 27-23 going into the second and built it to 55-40 when Garnett drew two defenders to him under the basket and passed to Chris Wilcox for a dunk with 2:35 left.
Boston took its biggest lead of the half, 58-42 on two free throws by Pierce with 37 seconds to go.
Notes: The Celtics play at home Sunday for the sixth time in seven games when they meet the Denver Nuggets. ... The Lakers are 3-2 on their seven-game road trip, which continues Friday night in Charlotte and ends Sunday in Miami. ... Six Celtics scored in double figures, the fifth straight game in which they had at least five.
- Earthquake hits Central Maine today
- Ellsworth city manager announced today the city has hired a new police chief
- Zachary Grant pleas guilty to manslaughter
- Maine shelters get dogs from Puerto Rico
- DHHS supports funding for reopening 12 treatment beds
- Senator King honors former Senator Snowe
- UMaine students help others with tax prep
- NTSB announces second El Faro search to find missing data recorder
- Senator King to host opiate discussion in Bangor
- American seniors targeted by international drug dealers
- Two arrested on drug charges in Southern Maine
- Waterville crash sent three to hospital
- Fire breaks out at an apartment in Bangor yesterday afternoon
- James Pak sentenced to life for killing two teenaged tenants
- Leanna Norris is appealing murder conviction
- Jason Cote is convicted of murder and to be sentenced Friday
- Alabama grandmother convicted in girl's running death dies
- Win Butler cut off from talking politics after celebrity game MVP win
- San Francisco police shot man 20 times, including 6 in back
- Sources: FBI investigating Ohio machete attack as possible lone wolf terror act
- Northeast braces for possible 'life-threatening' cold weather
- US military deploys more Patriot missiles in South Korea
- Manhole cover crashes into SUV's windshield, killing driver
- Madeleine Albright says controversial remark at Clinton rally was wrong context at wrong time
- Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia 1st to draw lifetime drug ban
- Former Va. Gov. Gilmore ends 2016 presidential bid
- AT&T says 5G will be 100 times faster than LTE and may even launch this year
- Expert: Kim Jong Un may have gone too far
- NJ comic's movie bit part backfires, results in gun charge
- Cops arrest teen for hack and leak of DHS, FBI data
- 'Deafening silence:' Obama, 2016 Dems mum on recent police deaths
- 'American Guns' star surrenders after Grand Jury indictment on illegal arms sales, tax evasion
- Sen. Harry Reid calls on Grayson to drop out of Senate race
- Barry Manilow rushed to hospital
- Love is... We asked, you answered
- Fox News Reporting: Voter Revolt
- Playboy's first non-nude model Sarah McDaniel may have posed naked anyway
- FBI, foundation controversies missing from Clinton questioning at debate
- Double shooting at Arizona high school, emergency teams respond
- Two girls dead after shooting at Arizona high school
- O.J. Simpson's Former Doctor Talks Possible CTE Symptoms
- President Obama Recites Love Poem To Wife Michelle -- Watch!
- Kanye West Ignites Controversy With Taylor Swift Over New Song Lyrics
- 'The Originals': Leah Pipes On The 'Insane' Danger Cami Is In, Getting Lectured By Klaus & Elijah
- Lamar Odom Makes Public Return At Kanye West's Fashion Show
- Teresa Giudice Talks Prison Life, Reuniting With Family & Supporting Donald Trump
- Peyton Manning & Jimmy Fallon Have Fun With Eli Manning's Super Bowl Face
- [EXCLUSIVE] Bethenny Frankel Confirms She is Returning to 'RHONY'
- 'Legends Of Tomorrow': Marc Guggenheim On Ray & Snart’s Latest Mission, Training Kendra & The Omega Protocol
- Adam Levine Reacts To Taraji P. Henson’s Coldplay/Maroon 5 Mix-Up
- 'The 100 Q&A: Brenda Strong On Playing Ice Nation Queen Nia
- 'Outlander' Season 2 Premiere Date Announced
- 'Outlander' Season 2 Premiere Date Announced, New Trailer Drops
- Stars Step Out For Saint Laurent Hollywood Show
- 'Gilmore Girls' Revival Welcomes More Familiar Faces
- Gwen Stefani Teaming With Target For Live Grammy Video
- Adele Announces Surprise Pre-Grammy Concert
- 'Arrow': Katrina Law Previews 'Epic' Fight, 'Beautiful' Nyssa/Laurel Scene
- Eagles Band Members To Honor Glenn Frey At Grammys
- Johnny Depp Stars As Donald Trump In Funny Or Die Spoof
- Medical Examiner Rules Michael Cavallari's Death Accidental
- 'Frozen' Musical To Make Broadway Debut In 2018
- DMX Has Recovered After Being Resuscitated By Police, Attorney Says
- Kelly Clarkson Releasing Children's Book Named For Daughter River Rose
- Tom Brady boasts that he is not one of the best QBs ever
- Peyton Manning's mom explains why it's time for her son to retire
- Report: Off-duty cops hospitalized after alleged altercation involving LeSean McCoy
- Advanced stats will probably love Michigan in 2016
- Audi tearjerker, 'Puppymonkeybaby' among Super Bowl winners
- Offbeat humor and upbeat messages dominate Super Bowl ads
- Breaking news: NASCAR to announce new 'charter' system for teams
- 2nd-seeded Cilic and Dodig advance to 2nd round in Rotterdam
- Jordan Spieth honors Peyton Manning with classic forehead joke after Super Bowl win
- Mets give cap-tip to fellow runner-up Panthers after Super Bowl loss
- Cam Newton's authenticity is highly questionable
- 2016 New York Mets Preview & Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep
- All-Star Bobblehead Series among Marlins promotions in 2016
- Broncos offseason to-do list, starting with moving on from Manning
- Cam Newton's image took the biggest hit of all during the Super Bowl
- Dodgers' Pederson had a great view of Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show
- Paul George says he'll try to score 82 points in final game vs. Kobe
- From behind the lens at Super Bowl 50, Durant captures the other side
- DeMarcus Ware's son stole Deion Sanders' microphone after the Super Bowl
- Comfort wins: Stroman, Blue Jays watch Super Bowl 50 in onesies
- Parker to play with France despite wife's pregnancy
- Ronaldo open to leaving Real Madrid when contract expires
- Tyronn Lue on recent criticism: 'Look, they ridiculed Jesus Christ'
- Bryce Harper shared a laugh with Stephen Curry at Super Bowl 50