Celtics down Lakers, 116-95

Celtics down Lakers, 116-95
February 8, 2013, 4:01 am
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BOSTON There was a 90-second stretch in the third quarter in which Jeff Green had a monster dunk, followed by a blocked shot moments later that led to a Paul Pierce 3-pointer.
Efficient offense.
Effective Defense.
Energetic Hustle.
The Celtics delivered the kind of Beantown beatdown seldom seen when these two bitter rivals battle as Boston had no trouble in downing the Lakers, 116-95.
Boston (26-23) has now won sixth in a row which ties their longest winning streak of the season. And with Thursday's win, it also snapped a three-game losing skid to Lakers (23-27).
Pierce led all Celtics with 24 points while Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 27 points
The first quarter was a relatively close one despite the Celtics being in early foul trouble.
In fact, the Lakers were in the bonus just 2:22 into the game courtesy of Dwight Howard attracting lots of attention - and fouls by the Celtics big men.
Among them was Kevin Garnett, who left the floor just 2:08 into the game after picking up his second personal foul.
But in the past, Garnett going to the bench meant a rough go of things for the Celtics.
It hasn't been that way lately, with the C's getting good production from Jason Collins and Chris Wilcox off the bench.
Collins did a decent job of protecting the basket along with chipping in two points.
Wilcox did much of the same, along with grabbing a couple rebounds which helped the Celtics lead 27-23 after the first.
Boston opened the second with an 8-2 run to take its first double digit lead of the night following a pair of free throws by Jeff Green.
Green was just part of a Celtic second unit that once again delivered strong play at both ends of the floor.
At the half, the C's bench had outscored the Lakers' backups 25-13 with Green (11 points) leading the way. Not too far behind was Jason Terry (six points) and Wilcox (six points, five rebounds).
Green finished with 19 points off the bench while Terry and Wilcox had 15 and 8 points, respectively.
As for the Lakers, Kobe Bryant was doing what Bryant does to most teams -- get buckets.
A 27.6 points per game scorer this season, Bryant led all players with 14 at the half. During the Lakers' recent run of success, Bryant's scoring has been balanced with a unusually high number of assists.
But on Thursday, Bryant finished with zero assists which certainly played a role in Boston taking a comfortable 58-44 lead into the half that was never in doubt afterwards.