The Los Angeles Lakers have taken a tumble of late during their current road trip, and they will look to shake it off when they visit the Boston Celtics this Sunday in a must-watch rivalry game.
Catch this game live on Sunday, January 31, at 9:30 AM, Manila time
HOME TEAM: Boston Celtics (10-7, 5-2 at home)
Boston failed to sustain its momentum following a two-game win streak, as the Celtics fell to the San Antonio Spurs on the road last Thursday, 110-106. The Celtics’ offense cooled off after shooting above 50% from the field in the previous two games, making only 42.9% of their field goal attempts against San Antonio.
Jayson Tatum, in his second back from a long layoff due to COVID-19, scored 25 points on 11-of-25 shooting in the Spurs game, while Jaylen Brown had 24 points on 8-of-19 shooting.
The Celtics could be catching the Lakers at a great time, with Anthony Davis likely sidelined for this marquee matchup, meaning Tatum and Brown will have one major obstacle less to hurdle when attacking the basket. With Tatum back, he and Brown will be teaming up to slow down the Lakers’ wing guys.
The Celtics like to break up passes and have active hands on the defensive end, which is Boston is third in the league with an 8.1 steals percentage.
Boston is one of the best teams in covering the spread as the home team, with a 71.4 cover percentage (5-2) in games at TD Garden.
ROAD TEAM: Los Angeles Lakers (14-6, 10-2 on the road)
For the first time this season, the Lakers have lost back-to-back games after getting dropped by the Philadelphia 76ers last Thursday, 107-106, and by the Detroit Pistons on Friday, 107-92.
The Lakers missed the services of Anthony Davis in the Pistons game due to a bruised right quad and by the looks of it, the big man’s chances of playing in Boston this Sunday is 50-50 at best. Assuming Davis will not suit up against the Celtics, the Lakers might give Kyle Kuzma another go at it as a starter. Kuzma did well, scoring 22 points with three 3-pointers and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes.
At the end of the day, the Lakers will go as far as where LeBron James takes them, so a better performance from the four-time MVP is something to watch out for, especially if Davis misses Sunday’s contest. James, who scored 22 points and had 10 assists in the loss to Detroit, has a history of playing well when he’s up against the Celtics.
In fact, James is averaging 29.0 points in his career against the Celtics, second-most versus any team in The King’s reign since he entered the league in 2003.
The Lakers are 3-2 against the spread after a straight-up loss.
With or without Anthony Davis, LeBron James is going to go off in this game and carry the Lakers. Marc Gasol may not be scoring a lot, but his presence will be felt as he fills the gaps for the Lakers in the middle, while Dennis Schroder provides ample scoring support. The Lakers win this game, 116-110.