Kyrie Irving and the Celtics cross lakers despite LeBron James double triple | Bleacher's report


LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 9: Kyrie Irving, No. 11 of the Boston Celtics, is hoping to beat LeBron James, No. 23 of the Los Angeles Lakers on March 9, 2019 at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and / or using this photograph, the user agrees to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Compulsory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Adam PantozziNBAE via Getty Images)

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Kyrie Irving scored 30 points on 12 out of 18 shots as the Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers 120-107 Saturday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart added 16 points each to the 41-26 Celtics, who have won three consecutive games.

LeBron James scored a triple-double of 30 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes for the 30-36 Lakers, who lost five times in a row. Rookie forward Mo Wagner scored a career-high 22 points, and rookie forward Johnathan Williams set a career record of 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Los Angeles has played without three of his top five scorers at Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball. Ball and Ingram will miss the rest of the season with deep vein thrombosis and a sprained ankle / bone bruise, respectively. Kuzma is recovering from an ankle injury.

Perfect Storm Brewing for the Celtics at Nab No. 3

The Celtics have had a confusing season, with confusing defeats for the wrong teams and fiery comments after the match. They recently lost four times in a row and were unable to score 100 goals out of three, a daunting task as each NBA team averages more than 101 points per game.

Despite these facts, the C's are in some way alive for the third seed of the Eastern Conference.

The remaining calendar is well configured. Look at their slate to come and guess the amount of games where the C's will be outsiders. This will probably be the case for road games against the Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers, but the gaps will not be huge. Otherwise, the most competitive competitions look like the worst at pick-ems.

And that's crucial for the Celtics, who are only 1.5 games behind the Pacers for third place in the East. The 76ers sit in the middle, half a game away from Boston.

The Celtics also benefit from the poor game of their opponents. In simple terms, no one takes seed # 3.

The Pacers were exceptional, knowing that they would play without the top scorer, star player Victor Oladipo, who had suffered a quad injury at the end of the season in January. However, they have only played 10 to 10 of the 20 complete matches since the end of the Oladipo campaign in 2018-19.

The 76ers are trying to hang on without center stars Joel Embiid, who has missed his last eight games due to left knee pain. But Philadelphia was only 4-4, a sequence that was crowned by a loss against the Chicago Bulls 19-48 and a 16-point dead loss to the Houston Rockets.

Embiid could return Sunday against Indiana, by Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice, but the Celtics will become winners no matter who plays this game.

Tim Bontemps of ESPN explained why:

The Celtics also won the deciding game against Philadelphia with three wins in the regular season. This could come into play because of their proximity to the rankings, and fivethirtyeight predicts that Boston and Philly will finish tied for third place in the standings at 52-30.

Boston can reach that target because his fortune seemed to have turned around. A plane ride through the county to begin their trip to the Western Conference, beginning with a 128-95 win over the reigning Golden State Warriors champion, is seen as a catalyst for the turnaround.

Celtics center Al Horford told reporters:

"Kyrie played a decisive role because it was him who initiated everything by saying," Hey, let's talk, play, play cards, do this, let's do that, in this plane-flight. And we were all engaged at that time.

"He started the movement … We spent a lot of time together, we talked, we laughed, things like that. It has just been extended. As opposed to an hour or two hours, almost seven hours. You may think that we will get fed up with each other, but in reality, the plane ride was faster. We were just hanging out and talking.

Irving spoke more about the aircraft in a recent conversation with reporters:

This may be the turning point of the Celtics season. Certainly, it is possible that the incoherence that tormented them reappears at a given moment. It is also conceivable that the Celtics do not increase further than their current position of No. 5.

However, Boston is showing signs of life and everything is in order for the team to gain a few places in the standings.

And after?

The Celtics will stay in town Monday for a game against the Clippers. The Lakers will begin Tuesday a five-game road trip against the Chicago Bulls.

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