Kobe scores 34 but Boston clinch playoff spot

After the Celtics broke the Golden State Warriors home winning streak with no Jae Crowder, they would get him back for the important game against the Lakers. Avery Bradley however would miss due to personal reasons. The Celtics could clinch a playoff berth with a win against the Lakers in Kobe’s last ever game against Boston.

The Celtics & Lakers started the game exchanging baskets as a Kobe 3 tied the game at 9. Boston quickly went on a 9-2 run to open up a lead. Amir Johnson scored his 6th point of the quarter off of Isaiah Thomas’s 5th assist to put Boston up 9. Los Angeles finished the quarter on an 8-4 run to cut the Boston lead to 5 in a quarter the Celtics shot 59% to the Lakers 38%. Amir Johnson had 8 points & 9 rebounds.

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Brad Stevens took a timeout 12 seconds into the 2nd quarter as the Lakers got an easy basket inside the paint. Out of the timeout the Celtics got 3 trips to the line & baskets out of Crowder & Rozier before Lakers needed a timeout as Boston went back up by 6. Thomas checked back into the game & immediately had an impact as he scored 10 straight for Boston before Rozier put in his 2nd bucket after grabbing his 4th rebound of the night to put Boston up 14, forcing another Los Angeles timeout.

Boston led by as much as 17 but Los Angeles closed the quarter on an 8-0 run to cut Boston’s lead to 9. Kobe had 18 points as Isaiah lead Boston with 21.

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Crowder scored to start the 2nd half but the Lakers then went on an 11-0 run (19-2 overall) to tie the game at 59 forcing Boston into a timeout. The Lakers continued the run & on the back of a Kobe 3, his 24th point of the night & a Russell lay-up had the Celtics down 3. Kobe hit another 3 before Olynyk tied the game at 71. The Celtics only scored 20 points in the quarter but took a 2 point lead into the 4th.

The Lakers scored on the first possession to tie the game but Boston went on a 7-0 run courtesy of Crowder & Rozier as the Lakers took a timeout. Boston extended their lead to 10 after some big plays by Marcus Smart. Evan Turner put Boston up 12 before the Lakers cut the lead down to 8 off a Clarkson 3. Randle converted a 3 point play to cut Boston’s lead to 4. The Celtics were able to hold off Kobe & the Lakers to clinch a playoff spot, winning 107-100.

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Player statistics:

Isaiah Thomas: 26 points, 6 assists Amir Johnson: 10 points, 13 rebounds Jae Crowder: 22 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists Evan Turner: 17 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists Marcus Smart: 7 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds

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