NBA Roundup: Lakers Back on Top with Sixth Consecutive Win, Whilst Boston's Hayward Puts on a Show

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks

The Lakers trailed by as many as 19 points at the end of the second quarter, when a LeBron inspired comeback shut down Chicago once and for all in the fourth to wrap up LA’s finale of a three-game trip.

Although James put on another sensational performance, he was on the bench for the majority of their 16-0 run at the beginning of the final quarter, with Kyle Kuzma, Quinn Cook and Dwight Howard revving up the Lakers’ comeback. 

Kuzma scored 11 of his 15 points in the fourth, and Howard had a key block on Coby White during the big spurt. Cook made a 3-pointer to give Los Angeles a 94-93 lead with 8:53 remaining.

Last night only marked Kuzma’s third game this season after being sidelined for almost three months with a stress reaction in his left ankle. But everything appeared to fall into place for the third-year forward who had an explosive final quarter, hitting a three on the Lakers’ first possession. He rounded up the period having made five of his eight shots and finished the night with shooting 43% from the field.

Despite a shining performance by Chicago’s Zach LaVine, who hit 26 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, the Bulls now sit second-to-last in the Eastern Conference. The Lakers, however, are back at the top of the West and take on the Miami Heat this Friday.

Celtics 119, Cavaliers 113

The Celtics may have taken the win back home with them last night from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, but it was star player Gordon Hayward who made headlines, tying his career-high 39 points, making all 16 of his two-point attempts in the game. Hayward sat comfortably on 85% shooting from the field, adding seven rebounds and eight assists to his accolades by the end of the evening.

The Celtics had a night of double digits, with Kemba Walker hitting 25 points, eight rebounds and three assists, whilst Jayson Tatum (18) and Carsen Edwards (13) also packed on the numbers.
Boston relied on their shot from the outset, hitting 3-of-4 out of the gates to spring to a 9-2 lead before Cleveland could even get started. Hayward stepped up from here going 4-for-4 to claim 10 points in his first 10 minutes on court, only to finish the opening quarter with a further six on a pristine 7-of-7 for shooting. 

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics

Off the back of their star forward, the Celtics entered the second with a 32-24 lead which gave them some cushioning in a less impressive quarter that saw only five points scored with only three minutes remaining. Cleveland countered to cut the deficit to two with just under two minutes remaining, only to be shut down once more by Marcus Smart’s three.

Collin Sexton led the Cavaliers in points with 21, adding two rebounds and three assists, whilst Tristan Thompson also put up 19 points. Kevin Love and Larry Nance also made double digits with 17 and 15 points respectively, while both Cedi Osman and Jordan Clarkson finished the game at 12 points.

Boston’s offensive unit didn’t let up in the second half as Walker, Tatum and Hayward continued their spree to pull the lead up to eleven mid-way through the third. However, Cleveland was reluctant to settle and managed to cut the deficit to six by the end of the third at 89-83.

An 11-2 Cavaliers run in the fourth shook up the opposition and brought them comfortably within three at just under one minute remaining. Boston’s Hayward took control once again with a rebound and bucket at 22 seconds on the clock, finishing up the game and preventing any possibility of a comeback for Cleveland.

The Celtics left with their fifth consecutive win this season and will meet the Hornets tomorrow night at Charlotte.

Hornets 122, Pacers 120

Hawks 108, Spurs 100

Thunder 102, Magic 94

Nuggets 109, Heat 89

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