The Boston Celtics got a big game from Paul Pierce and used a huge third quarter to pull away for a 116-95 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. The Celtics extend their winning streak to six games and continue to roll in the aftermath of Rajon Rondo's season ending injury.
Boston outscored the Lakers by 10 in the second quarter and 12 in the third. They led by as many as 32 points at one point in the second half as Kobe Bryant was the only Los Angeles' player that was able to find any sort of rhythm offensively. Defensively, the Lakers had no answer as the Celtics hit over 50 percent of their shots for the game.
Pierce hit 10 of 17 shots and also had seven rebounds and six assists. Jeff Green pitched in 19 points off the bench while Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry finished with 15 points each. Courtney Lee added 13 points while Avery Bradley chipped in 10.
Bryant scored a game-high 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting but got little help from his teammates. Bryant interestingly failed to record a single assist in the game. Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks were the only other Lakers players to finish in double figures. Dwight Howard returned to action from a shoulder injury and finished with nine points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes before fouling out. Metta World Peace finished with just five points on 2-of-13 shooting and missed all five of his three-point attempts.
The Celtics improve to 26-23 and climb over the Milwaukee Bucks into seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Lakers see their three-game winning streak snapped emphatically and fall to 23-27.