BOSTON – When the Boston Celtics signed Aron Baynes, they did so because of his toughness, his physicality and his overall awareness defensively.
But in the short time he has been with the Celtics, he has shown that he can deliver in other areas as well – namely scoring.
With Al Horford (concussion protocol) out, Baynes stepped up and delivered his best scoring game of the season in helping Boston keep its league-best winning streak alive with a 107-96 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Baynes finished with a career-high-tying 21 points as Boston (10-2) won its 10th straight game after beginning the season with back-to-back losses.
And while it was yet another all-hands-on-deck kind of game for the Celtics, there’s no mistaking the importance of Baynes’ play.
“Aron was great,” said coach Brad Stevens. “He did a good job rolling all night, and sealing, and finishing in and around the paint. Had a couple of put-backs, and did a good job.”
Even though Baynes had one of the greatest scoring nights of his career – he has scored 20 or more points just three times in 300-plus games in the NBA – he credits much of his success offensively against the Lakers to his teammates.
“I think we are just great creators on this team,” Baynes said. “I just found myself in the right position, I was just trying to make the right play and trying to finish as best I could. It’s a compliment to the other guys on the team getting me the ball in great position; Marcus (Smart), Kyrie (Irving) all those guys looking for me and I appreciate it.”
Here’s a look at the Stars, Studs and Duds from Wednesday’s 107-96 win by Boston over the Los Angeles Lakers who have now lost four straight to the Celtics – something that has not happened since the mid-1970s.
Aron Baynes: You figured he would play more with Al Horford (concussion) out, but no one could have anticipated the 6-foot-10 big man would show out like he did on Wednesday. Baynes had a career-high-tying 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting to go with eight rebounds and three assists – similar production to what Horford has delivered most of this season.
Jordan Clarkson: Always an aggressive scorer, Clarkson was instrumental in the Lakers rallying to make the game close in the second half which is when he scored 11 of his team-high-tying 18 points.
Kyrie Irving: He did not shoot the ball well (7-for-21), but delivered a slew of mesmerizing plays with the ball and still managed to score 19 points to go with six rebounds and five assists.
Brandon Ingram: He did a nice job most of the game generating offense for himself as well as contributing on the boards. He finished with 18 points on an efficient 7-for-11 shooting along with grabbing seven rebounds.
Marcus Morris: Making his second start of the season, Morris was a difference-maker during his time on the floor. He would score a season-high 18 points on 7-for-15 shooting and do so in under 25 minutes of playing time.
Julius Randle: It seems no matter who the opponent, Randle plays with a high energy level coming off the bench. He had 16 points on 5-for-9 shooting while playing just over 21 minutes. He was the only Lakers player to have a positive plus/minus (+5) on Wednesday.
Lakers veterans: The Lakers don’t play their veterans much, so when they do get on the floor they need to make an impact. That was not the case on Wednesday with Corey Brewer and Andrew Bogut combining to score just three points on 1-for-5 shooting but just as significant, Los Angeles had a plus/minus of -10 when Brewer was on the floor and -12 when Bogut played. Their ineffective play was just one of the many issues that factored into the Lakers loss.