Celts looking to stay hot on West Coast
On Wednesday, Boston outlasted Cleveland in one of the most hard-fought regular-season games in recent memory. Can Brad Stevens’ troops manage to avoid a letdown roughly 48 hours later?
The Atlantic Division-leading Celtics visit the lowly Lakers tonight, with a 10:30 p.m. ET tip at Staples Center. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Isaiah Thomas & Co. odds of -365 to take care of business on the road. Los Angeles, on the other hand, represents a +292 underdog.
Thanks largely to Thomas’ heroics down the stretch, Boston pulled out a 103-99 victory over the Cavs. The NBA’s second-leading scorer poured in a game-high 31 points. Fellow guard Avery Bradley made a major impression in his long-awaited return from an Achilles injury, too, posting 11 points across just 22 minutes.
This evening, though, the C’s will face the antithesis of an All-Star laden bunch. Luke Walton’s crew has lost five in a row and 16 of its past 20. One bright spot in La La Land: the continued emergence of Julius Randle. The Lakers’ third-year power forward is averaging 13.2 points and 11.6 rebounds since Feb. 14.
Randle could well enjoy a lot of success vs. the Celtics’ interior tandem of Al Horford and Kelly Obryck here, but an individual gem or two won’t save the Lakers from yet another disaster. The hosts are destined to fall to 19-43 overall. Boston, however, should feel exceedingly positive about pushing the Cavaliers for that No. 1 seed in the East.