Lakers stop 7-game losing streak with OT win over Celtics
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jeremy Lin had a season-high 25 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 118-111 overtime victory against the Boston Celtics on Sunday night.
Wesley Johnson added a season-high 22 points and Nick Young finished with 19, helping the Lakers win for only the second time in 18 games. The other victory during that stretch came in double overtime at home against Chicago on Jan. 29. They haven't won in regulation since Jan. 9, when they beat Orlando 101-84 at Staples Center.
Isaiah Thomas, making his Celtics debut after Thursday's trade from Phoenix, scored 21 points in 25 minutes before he was ejected with 5:03 left in regulation and Boston trailing 91-87.
Celtics guard Avery Bradley got eight of his 20 points in the final 27 seconds of the fourth quarter, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that sent the game to OT. But the Lakers outscored the Celtics 12-5 in overtime. Jae Crowder led Boston with 22 points off the bench.
Boston took a 78-73 lead into the fourth, thanks in part to the 25 points they scored off 16 Lakers turnovers. But Johnson's 3-pointer put the Lakers ahead 85-84 lead with 8:15 remaining.
Thomas and Young then traded 3s before Thomas picked up two technical fouls for disputing an offensive foul on the Celtics' next possession.
The Lakers took full advantage of their sudden good fortune and pulled away to a 98-89 margin with 3:54 remaining. Lin scored nine points during a 2:22 span of the fourth, but the Lakers couldn't close it out in regulation. Bradley hit a 3 and a layup before forcing overtime with his fourth 3-pointer of the game.
Boston led 58-56 at halftime with double-digit scoring from Bradley, Brandon Bass and Thomas, who had 15 points. Lin made a three-point play with 6:10 left in the second quarter to give the Lakers their first lead, 43-42, after they fell behind by as many as nine. He led the team with 12 points in the half despite being the sixth player off the bench.
Despite Boston's 20-33 record, coach Brad Stevens can still get his team into the playoffs. The Celtics are 2 1/2 games out of the eighth seed in the weak Eastern Conference with 29 games left on the schedule and four teams to jump over to get there.
Celtics: Tyler Zeller had 24 points and 14 rebounds against the Lakers in a 113-96 victory in Boston the last time the teams met. He had only eight points in the rematch. ... Kelly Olynyk missed his 13th straight game because of a sprained right ankle. ... Evan Turner had 12 assists - the first Celtics player to reach double digits since Dec. 21, when Turner had 11 against Sacramento. ... The Celtics are 2-7 against the Lakers since losing to them in seven games in the 2010 NBA Finals. ... The Celtics slipped to 0-10 when allowing their opponent at shoot 50 percent or better from the field. The Lakers ended up at 51.2 percent.
Lakers: Carlos Boozer made his first start since the Lakers' loss in Boston on Dec. 5. He had 12 points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes. ... Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart skipped the Oscars and participated on the Staples Center kiss-cam in the second quarter.
Celtics: At Phoenix on Monday.
Lakers: At Utah on Wednesday.