The Lakers reaped their fifth consecutive defeat. They lost at home, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, against the Celtics (107-120). Nine years later, on the same stage and in front of the same opponent before whom they won their last ring, the Lakers fell into despair for his failed campaign. They still have 16 games left by the end of the regular season, but their essential goal of competing in the playoffs is little more than a utopia. They do not go beyond the eleventh position of the Western Conference, with seven wins less than the Spurs, who occupy the eighth and final place that qualifies for the final rounds among the 16 best of the competition.
The triple double of LeBron James, with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists, the seventh he gets this season and the 80th of his career, it did not help to avoid an almost announced defeat. The Lakers appeared without three of their starters, after learning that Brandon Ingram will no longer be able to play this season because of a thrombosis. He joined the casualties of Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma. Neither Lance Stephenson could play against the Celtics. LeBron, Ball and Kuzma have only been able to play 23 games together this season.
The Celtics added their third consecutive win and reinforced the recovery after a small crisis. They are fifth in the East, with just one more loss than the Sixers and two more than the Pacers.
Kyrie Irving, with 30 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks, he led a triumph in which Smart and Morris also stood out with 16 points each and Hayward with 15.
"It's hard and tough, but I knew what I was getting into," said LeBron, who decided to join the Lakers last summer and signed a four-year, $ 153 million contract that missed 17 games because of an injury. in the adductors.
"I did not expect to be absent five weeks at a crucial time of the season, nor did another key player like Rajon Rondo miss five and a half weeks. We were injured at the same time and that affected the team. " LeBron, who has played the last eight finals, will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-2005 season. Luke Walton, the coach of the Lakers, has decided to dose the minutes of LeBron on the court, thinking now to avoid aggravating their ailments and next season. LeBron only played 28 minutes against the Celtics.
Pau Gasol stays on the bench
Pau Gasol he did not play a single minute in the game that Milwaukee won against Charlotte (131-114). The Spanish power forward, after signing for the Bucks, played five minutes against Phoenix and just over ten against Indiana. Mike Budenholzer, who valued very positively Pau Gasol's incorporation, did not count on him in the match against the Hornets.
Giannis Antetokounmpo He led his team with 26 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. They also highlighted Brook Lopez, with 25 points and eight rebounds, Brogdon, with 18 points, and Nikola Mirotic, also with 18 points, plus six rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Before the meeting, Pau Gasol had stated: "The process of adaptation is being good, positive. The first days, especially, observing and learning. Working individually and collectively to absorb knowledge and see where I can help more. I am a competitive player and I want to contribute and have options to win. " Kemba Walker was the Hornets' leading scorer with 25 points. Willy Hernangómez added three points in the four minutes he played.