Celtics crush LA Lakers as Nuggets tame Bulls Howard fouls out

BOSTON, Massachusetts, Feb 8, (Agencies): Somewhere between Jason Terry’s 25-foot three pointer in the first half and Dwight Howard fouling out in the fourth quarter, Los Angeles realized this wasn’t going to be their evening. The short-handed Boston Celtics steamrolled the Lakers 116-95 on Thursday behind a potent offence, including Paul Pierce’s 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Jeff Green scored 19 points off the bench, while Terry and Kevin Garnett added 15 apiece for the Celtics who shot 53 percent from the field and led by as many as 32 points in the second half. Garnett reached a milestone against the Lakers by reaching 25,000 career points. He is only the 16th player in history to hit that plateau.

It marked the worst loss of the season for the Lakers, who fell behind 103-71 with 8:16 left in the fourth and looked listless despite getting centre Dwight Howard back. The Lakers came into the contest having won all three games Howard missed with a shoulder injury. Howard was a non-factor against the Celtics, fouling out with just over five minutes left in the fourth. He finished with just nine points and nine rebounds. Kobe Bryant had 27 points as the Lakers dropped to 3-2 on their seven-game road trip. It marked just the third time this season Bryant did not record an assist.

The Lakers got more bad news just prior to the opening tip off as they learned forward Pau Gasol suffered a tear of the plantar fascia — on the bottom of his right foot — and will be out for a minimum six to eight weeks. Metta World Peace returned Thursday from a one-game suspension but he looked out of sorts early and finished with just five points on two-of-13 shooting from the field in the loss. In Denver, the Denver Nuggets rolled to their eighth successive win with a 128-96 demolition of the Chicago Bulls at home. Denver improved to 32-18 on the season with victory over the Bulls (29-20), who were blown away by a third-quarter blitz.

Leading by just five at halftime, the home side posted 37 points in the third term while holding the Bulls to just 16, ending the game as a contest. Wilson Chandler led the way from the bench for the Nuggets with 24 points, including 5-for-5 from three-point range, while Kenneth Faried added 21 points and 12 rebounds. “Most of our offense was created by good defensive plays,” Denver coach George Karl said.
“Wilson got the three-ball in the game for us, Kenneth had that great energy and we were an unselfish team. Wilson and Kenneth... what a performance.”

For Faried, his team’s latest impressive display represented a message to the rest of the NBA.
“Playing against a good Chicago Bulls team, this was our best game of the season,” Faried told reporters. “We are getting out there and we tried to make a statement tonight. “I came out with the mindset to dominate. I wanted to come out, make a statement and Wilson did the same thing. Nationally televised game and we did what we had to do tonight.” It is the first time since Jan. 2010 that the Nuggets have won eight in a row and they are now ranked fourth in the Western Conference, having won 14 of their last 16 games.

NBA Results/Standings

WASHINGTON, Feb 8, (RTRS): Results from the NBA games on Thursday.
Boston    116    LA Lakers    5
Denver    128    Chicago    96

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division
    W    L    PCT    GB
NY Knicks    31    16    .660    -
Brooklyn    29    20    .592    3
Boston    26    23    .531    6
Philadelphia    21    27    .438    10-1/2
Toronto    17    32    .347    15

Central Division
    W    L    PCT    GB
Indiana    31    19    .620    -
Chicago    29    20    .592    1-1/2
Milwaukee    25    23    .521    5
Detroit    18    32    .360    13
Cleveland    15    34    .306    15-1/2

Southeast Division
    W    L    PCT    GB
Miami    32    14    .696    -
Atlanta    27    21    .563    6
Orlando    14    35    .286    19-1/2
Washington    13    35    .271    20
Charlotte    11    37    .229    22

Western Conference
Northwest Division

    W    L    PCT    GB
Oklahoma City    37    12    .755    -
Denver    32    18    .640    5-1/2
Utah    28    22    .560    9-1/2
Portland    25    24    .510    12
Minnesota    18    28    .391    17-1/2

Pacific Division
    W    L    PCT    GB
LA Clippers    35    16    .686    -
Golden State    30    19    .612    4
LA Lakers    23    27    .460    11-1/2
Phoenix    17    33    .340    17-1/2
Sacramento    17    33    .340    17-1/2

Southwest Division
    W    L    PCT    GB
San Antonio    39    11    .780    -
Memphis    30    18    .625    8
Houston    27    24    .529    12-1/2
Dallas    21    28    .429    17-1/2
New Orleans    16    33    .327    22-1/2

Read By: 1631
Comments: 0

You must login to add comments ...
About Us   |   RSS   |   Contact Us   |   Feedback   |   Advertise With Us