Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers Preview, Tips and Odds

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers meet Sunday in NBA action at the Staples Center.
The Boston Celtics look for a statement win after winning 10 of their last 12 games. The Boston Celtics are averaging 113.3 points on 46.3 percent shooting and allowing 106.4 points on 44.1 percent shooting. Jayson Tatum is averaging 22.5 points and seven rebounds while Kemba Walker is averaging 21.8 points and five assists. Jaylen Brown is the third double-digit scorer and Gordon Hayward is grabbing 6.7 rebounds. The Boston Celtics are shooting 36.3 percent from beyond the arc and 80.1 percent from the free throw line. The Boston Celtics are allowing 34.3 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 45.9 rebounds per game. The Boston Celtics have won five of their last seven road games.
The Los Angeles Lakers look to stay hot after winning six of their last seven games. The Los Angeles Lakers are averaging 114.8 points on 48.8 percent shooting and allowing 107.3 points on 44.7 percent shooting. Anthony Davis is averaging 26.7 points and 9.3 rebounds while LeBron James is averaging 25.1 points and 10.7 assists. Kyle Kuzma is the third double-digit scorer and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is grabbing 2.1 rebounds. The Los Angeles Lakers are shooting 36.2 percent from beyond the arc and 72.8 percent from the free throw line. The Los Angeles Lakers are allowing 34.8 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 46.3 rebounds per game. The Los Angeles Lakers have split their last six home games.

Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers Head to Head

The Lakers and the Boston Celtics have played 291 games in the regular season with 130 victories for the Lakers and 161 for the Celtics, including a 139-107 home romp in the first matchup this season back on January 20.

Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers Stats

The Celtics enter this contest ranked 9th in the league in scoring offense with an average of 113.3 points per game this season. Boston is 10th in rebounding by pulling down 45.9 rebounds per contest and stands 21st in assists with 23.2 dimes per game. On the season, Boston is third in the league in scoring defense by allowing 106.4 points per contest. The Celtics are led offensively by Kemba Walker, who is second on the team as he puts up 21.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and five assists per game on the year. Jayson Tatum puts up a team-leading 22.5 points plus seven boards a night while Jaylen Brown (20.3 points, 6.4 rebounds), Gordon Hayward (17.6 points, 6.7 boards) and Marcus Smart (12.5 points, 4.8 assists) are solid contributors offensively. Boston is tied for 11thin the league in field goal percentage by shooting 46.3 percent from the floor as a team on the year. The Celtics are 12th in three-pointers per game as they drain 12.3 triples per night while they rank tied for 11th by hitting 36.3 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc. Walker is out for this contest with a knee injury.
The Lakers are 7th in the league in scoring offense as they put up 114.8 points per game. Los Angeles is 7th in rebounding with 46.3 boards per contest and 5th in assists with 26.3 per game. The Lakers stand 6th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 107.3 points per night. LeBron James is second on the team with 25.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 10.7 assists per contest this season. Anthony Davis contributes a team-high 26.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks a night while Kyle Kuzma chips in 12.5 points per contest. Avery Bradley, Danny Green, Dwight Howard and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are among the role players that the team is leaning on to supplement their star duo. The Lakers are 1st in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 48.8 percent as a team. Los Angeles is 19th in the league with 11.2 triples per game while standing tied for 13th in three-point shooting at 36.2 percent from downtown. The Lakers were expected to waive DeMarcus Cousins, who hasn’t played this season, in the event that Markieff Morris, who was bought out by Detroit, clears waivers.

Every conversation about whether or not the Los Angeles Laker can win the title this year always comes back to the same talking point: Their lack of signature victories over a contender.
All that noted, the Lakers are still winless against the teams that really, truly matter in the title conversation. They haven’t beaten the LA Clipper (0-2). They lost their only game against the Milwaukee Bucks. They lost to the Rockets once the team improved after the trade deadline, and got destroyed by the Boston Celtics in their one matchup this season.
All of this means that while the Celtics will undoubtedly present a challenge for the Lakers — if their day off in Los Angeles on a Saturday doesn’t sink them before the game even starts — but also a chance for the team to seize the type of impressive, nationally televised victory over a fully formed contender that they just haven’t been able to manage this year.
The Celtics won’t make that easy. Walker may be 1-28 against teams with LeBron James all-time, but this is really the first good team he’s played on (he got his first win as a result), and he’s a dynamic threat both on and off the ball for Boston this year, the type of quick point guard that the Lakers’ own perimeter corps will have to be at their best to slow down. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are the types of big, dynamic wings that have given the Lakers problems, and Marcus Smart is the exact type of irritant that has shown a propensity to rattle L.A. at times this year.

Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers News

Missing players Celtics: Kemba Walker (Knee) will miss the game.
Missing players Lakers: Anthony Davis (Calf) is probable. DeMarcus Cousins (Knee) is out for season.

Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers Odds

Spread: -7.5 Lakers
O/U: 225.5

Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers Predictions

This is a battle of heavyweights as both of these teams are near the top of their respective conferences. Boston has won nine of 10 and they have had success with guys in and out of the lineup. Walker is missing again here but the Celtics have other guys that can step up and contribute on any given night. That’s the difference between Boston and the Lakers at this point. Los Angeles has its issues trying to find capable secondary options in their rotation as financial restrictions are a major issue for the team. The Lakers hope to add Morris but that won’t be a factor in this game. Boston has the upper hand thanks to their depth, but LBJ and the LakeShow are in a must win situation. Lakers for the win it should get a close match might even go into OT.