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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Celtics Lay Absolute Stinkbomb Against Lakers On Eve Of NBA Trade Deadline

As everybody knows by now, the Celtics have a flair for the dramatic (which is not always a good thing) so I guess in some bizarre way they had to go down as hard as they did tonight in Los Angeles. Boston (28-26, 8-17 away) lost their second game in as many nights, 113-99 to the Lakers (26-29, 17-11 home) in a game that truthfully wasn't that competitive. This only adds to the anxious feelings until 3 p.m. (EST) tomorrow when another NBA Trade Deadline mercifully passes.

The C's are 0-7 on the road this season against Western Conference teams and they fell to 1-4 in their last five games against the Lakers. The loss wasn't that surprising, since they are awful on the road, they played last night and LA is decent at home. The shocking part was how easily the Lakers rolled since Boston beat them like a drum 116-95 on February 7 at TD Garden.

Wrapped up like a mummy, the ghost of Dwight Howard stopped by to get 24 points and 12 rebounds. Kobe Bryant had 16 points and seven assists, Earl Clark put up 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds (really), Steve Nash added 14 points and seven assists while Ron Artest notched 12 points. Even Antawn Jamison (15 points, 5 rebounds) and Steve Blake (10 points, 5 assists) had memorable nights off the bench for Los Angeles in the year 2013, not 2003.

If not for Inglewood, CA native Paul Pierce (26 points, 5 assists) this could have been uglier. Courtney Lee was the only other bright spot for the Celts with a season-high 20 points. Kevin Garnett had 12 points while Jeff Green (15 points, 7 rebounds) and Jason Terry (12 points) reached double-figures off the bench.

Just like last night in Denver, the Lakers owned the three most important hustle stats: made free throws (22-12), total rebounds (49-34) and points in the paint (54-30). Hey, at least we got to see Terrence Williams' (2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists) Celtics debut and Fab Melo (2 points, block) threw down a garbage time alley-oop, woo!

As fans, we're all sick and tired of reading the endless rumors of unlikely trades so I can only imagine what it's like for the players and coaches in the middle of all this crap. I'm sure for most of them, tomorrow is the worst day of the season as they try to get through what could be an insane afternoon. We shall see, at least by tomorrow night we won't have to read anymore false reports.

Boston's next game is Friday (9 p.m., CSN) in Phoenix (18-37, 5th in Pacific Division). The Celts have three games in four days (Phoenix, Portland on Saturday and Utah on Monday) to get something positive out of this West Coast trip (0-2). So far, it's been depressing and forgettable. Still, they play three teams now that they should beat assuming they keep this team intact.

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