The Boston Celtics are amidst a West Coast Swing and will play their third consecutive game on the road Tuesday when visiting the Los Angeles Lakers. Boston improved to 13-11 following a 145-117 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday. In the high-scoring affair, Jayson Tatum was the leading scorer for Boston with 31 points while the Celtics as a team shot 56.3% overall and 56.8% from behind the three-point line. Boston has climbed to second in the Atlantic division 3 ½ games behind the front-running Brooklyn Nets. Jaylen Brown, Al Horford and Romeo Langford are all questionable for Boston.
Los Angeles dropped to 12-12 following its 119-115 loss at home to the LA Clippers on Friday. The leading scorer for the Lakers in the loss was Anthony Davis with 27 points and LeBron James returned but his presence could not keep the Lakers from losing. The loss snapped a short two-game winning streak for the Lakers and Los Angeles is tied for third in the Pacific Division 7 ½ games behind co-leaders Phoenix and Golden State. Trevor Ariza and Kendrick Dunn are out, while Avery Bradley is questionable.
Boston's offense is picking up steamThe Boston Celtics are scoring an average of 108.9 points per game but over the last two games have scored 130 and 145 points. Boston is shooting 44.3% overall and 33.9% from behind the three-point line. The leading scorer for Boston is Jayson Tatum with an average of 25.2 points per game, while Jaylen Brown is a close second at 21.4 points per game but has been slowed with varying injuries and is questionable for Tuesday. Marcus Smart is the leader in assists with an average of 5.5 dishes per contest. Boston averages 22.7 assists and 13.2 turnovers for a below average 1.7 assist to turnover ratio.
Boston's defense is 15th in the NBA in points allowed at 106.5 per game. The Celtics hold opponents to an average of 43.8% shooting which is sixth best in basketball and 34.0% shooting from behind the three-point line which is 13th in the NBA. Boston is allowing an average of 45.6 rebounds per game and the Celtics are averaging slightly more at 46.5 boards per contest. The king of the boards for Boston is Tatum with an average of 8.8 rebounds per game. Marcus Smart is the leader in steals with an average of 2.1 per contest and Robert Williams III is the leader in blocks shots with an average of 1.9 swats per game.
Lakers giving up too much on defenseThe Los Angeles Lakers have struggled with consistency this season at 12-12 and much of that is because of poor performances on the defensive end of the court. The Lakers are 29th in the NBA in points allowed at 113.4 per game and allow opponents to average 45.3% shooting. Los Angeles allows 47.6 rebounds per game which is 26th in the NBA and the Lakers average slightly less at 46.3 boards per contest. The king of the boards for the Lakers is Anthony Davis with an average of 10.0 rebounds per game. LeBron James is the leader in steals with an average of 1.8 per contest and Davis is the swat commander for the Lakers with an average of 2.2 block shots per game.
The Los Angeles offense has a polar opposite of its defense as the Lakers are fourth in the NBA in scoring with an average of 111.7 points per game. Los Angeles is 9th in the NBA in shooting with an average of 46.3% overall and 14th in shooting from behind the line at 34.8%. LeBron James is the leading scorer for Los Angeles with an average of 25.6 points per game, but close behind is Anthony Davis with an average of 24.4 points per game. Russell Westbrook is the leader in assists with an average of 8.6 dishes per contest and Westbrook is also averaging over 20 points per game at 20.3 per contest. The Lakers average 24.5 assists and 15.2 turnovers per game for an assist to turnover ratio of only 1.6.
- Los Angeles is 2-6 ATS in the last eight
- The Lakers are 1-4 ATS in the last five against a team from the Eastern Conference
- Boston is 6-0 ATS in the last six versus Los Angeles
- The Celtics are 5-1 ATS in the last six against a Pacific division team