Celtics

Celtics go down to Lakers on buzzer-beater from ex-Celtic star

Celtics go down to Lakers on buzzer-beater from ex-Celtic star

BOSTON -- Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 129-128 buzzer-beating loss to the Los Angeles Lakers:

STARS

LeBron James: It was yet another impressive showing for LeBron James who tallied a triple-double of 28 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists. 

Jayson Tatum: He may have shared team-high scoring honors with Kyrie Irving, but Tatum played like a franchise talent for most of this game. In addition to his 22 points, he also grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out five assists.

☘️LAKERS 129, CELTICS 128

STUDS

Rajon Rondo: The former Celtic guard had a strong night for the Lakers, finishing with 17 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. But nothing stood out more than his buzzer-beating game winner as time expired.

Daniel Theis: Several hustle plays, but none bigger than the loose ball he corralled in the fourth that led to a Jaylen Brown 3-pointer, and was soon followed by a powerful dunk of his own that put Boston on top 102-101. For the game, Theis had 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting to go with five rebounds and two blocked shots.

Jaylen Brown: The strong play continues for Brown, whose play may start leading to some Sixth Man of the Year consideration. He would tally 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting off the bench, marking his eighth consecutive game scoring in double figures.

Terry Rozier: Boston’s fourth quarter surge was fueled in part by Rozier’s timely shot making and solid play defensively. He finished the night with 19 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field along with six assists and four rebounds.

Kyle Kuzma: One of the keys to the Lakers wiping out Boston’s 18-point lead was the play of Kyle Kuzma, who tallied 25 points on 10-for-21 shooting which included a go-ahead 3-pointer that put the Lakers on top 127-126 with 18.5 seconds to play. 

DUDS

Celtics’ 3-point defense: Boston allowed the Lakers to get way too comfortable from behind the 3-point arc. The Lakers were 22-for-41 (53.7 percent) on 3s, the most 3-pointers in a game in Lakers franchise history, and the most ever given up in a game by the Celtics. This is a team that came into the game ranked 23rd in 3-pointers made per game (10.1) and 29th in percentage (.334).

Did Gordon Hayward help ensure Kobe Bryant would score 60 in final game?

Did Gordon Hayward help ensure Kobe Bryant would score 60 in final game?

Kobe Bryant had one of the most iconic final games in NBA history.

With the Los Angeles Lakers well out of the playoff race in his last year, the team's final regular season game served as a send-off for Bryant. In the outing, Bryant dominated the game, took as many shots as he wanted, and ultimately scored 60 points to cap off a comeback win over the Utah Jazz.

It was a great way to end an amazing career.

And Mike Tirico suggested that Gordon Hayward may have actually played a part in ensuring that Bryant would be guaranteed to get 60 points late in that game.

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As Tirico detailed on a recent episode of The Ringer's Ryen Russilo Podcast, Hayward, then playing for the Jazz, committed a lane violation on Bryant's final free throw that Tirico believes was just to give him a chance to to get to 60 in case he missed it.

And to Tirico, that decision stands out and makes him "a fan of [Hayward's] for life."

That, to me, was the most unique example I could give to people of the fraternity of the NBA. And the reverence for greatness in the NBA is at a different level that any of the other sports that we watch or cover.

He had the complete wherewithal at 59 to just put a foot in the lane and look over at the ref just in case Kobe missed it to make sure he got another shot at 60.

That is just one of those things that nobody ever remembers, that very few people see, but every time I see Gordon Hayward, I think of that. I'm like, 'You know what, dude, you get it. You get it at a level that other people don't and I'm a fan of yours for life for that.

It's easy to see why Tirico would admire Hayward's sportsmanship if he did, in fact, intentionally commit that lane violation. But Hayward took to Twitter to deny that it was intentional.

Either way, this moment and the memory of Bryant's 60-point finale is even more poignant after his tragic passing. Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, were among the nine people killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday afternoon.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Heat, which begins Tuesday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream it on the MyTeams App.

Celtics vs. Heat start time changed to 8 p.m. ET after Lakers vs. Clippers postponed

Celtics vs. Heat start time changed to 8 p.m. ET after Lakers vs. Clippers postponed

The Boston Celtics were originally scheduled to take on the Miami Heat starting at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday night.

However, the time of the game has changed in the wake of the NBA's decision to postpone the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers game.

The battle for L.A. was originally scheduled to take place at 10:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday and would air after the conclusion of Celtics-Heat on TNT. But with the former game no longer being played in the aftermath of Kobe Bryant's death, TNT has elected to move back the start of the Celtics game into the 8 p.m. ET window.

The Celtics will enter Tuesday night's game with a record of 30-15 while the Heat sit at 31-14, pending the result of their Monday night game against the Orlando Magic.

Pregame coverage of the contest will begin on NBC Sports Boston at 7 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live.