Game: Boston Celtics @ Los Angeles Lakers
Time: 10:00 p.m.
Odds: Celtics -3.5, Lakers +3.5
The Los Angeles Lakers are finally back home after their longest road trip of the season, while the Boston Celtics are nearing the end of one of their longest road trips. The two storied franchises meet tonight for the first time this season.
The teams have met in the NBA Finals 12 times, and each franchise has won 17 league championships. The Lakers are only now showing signs of improvement after a dismal start to this season. The Celtics, on the other hand, stand out as the best NBA team this season.
The Lakers’ six-game trip to the East Coast was a microcosm of their up-and-down season. The Lakers fought through illnesses, accidents, a heartbreaking loss to Philadelphia, and a promising win over Milwaukee. In the end, it was a break-even, .500 venture.
The Lakers picked up a win in the final game of the road swing, a 124-117 win over Detroit. LeBron James scored 35 points and Anthony Davis added 34 points in the win. Davis prepared Los Angeles for its late push with 17 points in the third quarter, while James scored 13 points in the crucial fourth.
On Monday, the Celtics arrived in Los Angeles, but it only resulted in a 113-93 loss to the Clippers that wasn’t particularly close. Boston was held under 100 points for the first time this season. Jaylen Brown scored 21 points and Jayson Tatum added 20 points and 11 rebounds for Boston.
The Celtics are currently 3-2 on their road trip, which ends tonight. Before playing the Golden State Warriors in an NBA Finals rematch on Saturday, Boston had won eight of nine games. The Celtics lost to Golden State 123-107.
The Celtics played without Al Horford for the fourth straight game against the Clippers. Horford was in health and safety protocol for the first three games of the road stretch, and his status on Monday was listed as “personal.” He is anticipated to return against the Orlando Magic on Friday.
The Clippers, who had Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the court for just the eighth time this season, appeared to be moving a step slower than the Celtics. On a night when the Celtics shot 43.4 percent from the field, the pair torched Boston for a combined 51 points.
The Celtics have been dominant this season. They are 16-4 SU in their last 20 games and they have covered the spread in eight of their last 11 games. Boston has covered in six of the last seven games against the Lakers.
The Lakers had a stretch where they won eight of ten games recently, but they have lost three of their last four. The win over the Pistons on Sunday broke that three-game losing skid. L.A. is 4-1 ATS in its last five games at home.
Boston leads the NBA in scoring averaging 120.3 points per game. Each of the Celtics’ last five games have seen the total go Under. The Lakers are trending Over with the last six of seven going Over the total. The Over is 7-2 in the last nine Celtics-Lakers games.
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