Kristaps Porzingis had 28 points and 11 rebounds, Jayson Tatum added 25 points and the Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time in Christmas Day meetings, 126-115 on Monday.
Jaylen Brown had 19 points and Derrick White chipped in with 18 points and 11 rebounds. All five starters had at least 18 points for the Celtics, who have won three straight and 12 of their past 14.
Anthony Davis scored a game-high 40 points with 13 rebounds, LeBron James had 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, but the Lakers have dropped six of eight since winning the inaugural In-Season Tournament.
After trailing for the only time in the game early in the third quarter when Jarred Vanderbilt threw down a dunk, Boston ripped off seven straight points to regain the lead. Porzingis had 13 points, helping spot the Celtics a nine-point advantage going into the fourth.
Boston successfully kept Los Angeles at arm’s length in the final quarter, despite Davis hitting the 40-point mark for the 40th time in a regular season game.
The Celtics ran right over the Lakers’ starting lineup, scoring the first 12 points capped by a 3-pointer from Brown, and would lead by as many as 18 in the first quarter.
Los Angeles got back in it in the second, thanks to some hot shooting from Taurean Prince. He had 11 points making all four of his shots, including three 3’s, to cut the deficit to 58-57 at the half.
Both teams got a scare when Brown and James were shaken up in a collision with 4:02 left in the second. Brown was cutting back to the ball when he took a bad step and pulled up, leading to James kneeing him in the back. Each player was attended to on the court, with Brown going back to the locker room before returning to start the third quarter.
It was the third game on Christmas Day between the two most storied franchises in the league. The Minneapolis Lakers won in Boston in 1951, and Los Angeles was victorious against the then-defending champion Celtics in 2008.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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