The first meeting between the two teams ended in a thrilling 96-95 win for the Purple and Gold in Boston.
Anthony Davis led the LA Lakers with 27 points and 14 rebounds, with LeBron James adding 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Jayson Tatum was the Boston Celtics’ highest scorer with 30 points and nine rebounds.
The game came down to the last possession, but Kemba Walker and Daniel Theis missed their shot attempts as the final buzzer sounded.
Fixture - Boston Celtics vs LA Lakers | 2020-21 NBA Season
Date & Time - Thursday, April 15th, 10:00 PM ET (Friday, April 16th, 7:30 AM IST)
Venue - STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
Boston Celtics Preview
The Boston Celtics are riding a four-game winning streak and have won six of their last seven games heading into the battle with the LA Lakers.
After playing .500 ball for a time, Jayson Tatum and company were finally able to hit their stride, winning both at home and on the road.
The matchup with the LA Lakers will be the third and last of their three-game road trip, which included quality wins over the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers. The Celtics needed a 3-pointer from Jayson Tatum with 8.5 seconds to go to escape with a narrow 116-115 win over the Blazers.
They’ll be putting their winning streak on the line when they face the LA Lakers on Thursday.
Key Player - Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum earned the latest Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors after a scintillating performance a week ago when he averaged 31.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists. The Boston Celtics lost one game before winning three straight matches that week.
With Tatum at the top of his game, his team has found the confidence boost it needs to snap out of its midseason slump.
The two-time All-Star has always been one of the best players in the league, but he has been unable to carry the Boston Celtics on his shoulders this season. If they had won since the start of the 2020-21 campaign, he would have been in the MVP conversation.
Even if it’s too late for that to happen, Tatum will be more than happy to just lead the Boston Celtics deep into the playoffs. However, he will first want to get revenge on the LA Lakers for their loss in Boston.
Boston Celtics Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Kemba Walker l Shooting Guard - Marcus Smart l Small Forward - Jaylen Brown l Power Forward - Jayson Tatum l Center - Robert Williams III
LA Lakers Preview
The LA Lakers will finally have fans in the stands for the first time this season. Los Angeles County has allowed a maximum of 2,000 fans to attend the game at Staples Center, which should perk up the team even more after a 4-3 record on the road.
The return to Los Angeles should bolster the Lakers’ confidence. The semi-successful two-week stretch on the road was an eye-opener, considering how much they had struggled prior to the trip. Without their stars, winning four of seven games in enemy territory deserves props no matter how one looks at it.
Markieff Morris is questionable to play, which means coach Frank Vogel might juggle the starting lineup again for the Boston Celtics game.
Key Player - Andre Drummond
The LA Lakers are still trying to get Andre Drummond to adapt to the team, five games into his career in a purple and gold uniform.
He had a few promising games and a couple of really poor ones, including three-point and four-point outings in the last two games.
It’s hard to picture what Drummond is really capable of until the LA Lakers get LeBron James and Anthony Davis back from the injured list. Nevertheless, the two-time All-Star center has been a rebounding machine each time he plays.
Against the Boston Celtics, he’ll be matched up against Robert Williams III. The size mismatch should go in Drummond’s favor, and he only needs to take advantage of it.
LA Lakers Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Dennis Schroder l Shooting Guard - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope l Small Forward - Talen Horton-Tucker l Power Forward - Kyle Kuzma l Center - Andre Drummond
Celtics vs Lakers Match Prediction
If this game had been scheduled two weeks ago, it would have been easier to see a win for the LA Lakers, even though both teams were struggling then. This time, the picture is a bit blurry owing to the Boston Celtics’ streak and the Lakers’ impressive showing on the road.
Ultimately, it may all come down to the fact that the LA Lakers are back home, rested and playing in front of their fans.
Where to watch Celtics vs Lakers
The Boston Celtics vs LA Lakers game will be televised nationally on TNT and shown locally on NBC Sports Boston and Spectrum SportsNet. International audiences can watch the game live on the NBA League Pass.