Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics made sure not to leave their Saturday night head-to-head with the Los Angeles Lakers to a last-second possession this time around, leading for the entire second half en route to a 120-107 win over LeBron James and Co. at the Staples Center.

In fact, the Celtics let the Lakers hold just two separate leads, none of which were greater than two points.

“Obviously, we had a lead that we built ourselves, a pretty decent lead,” Celtics guard Kyrie Irving said after the win. “It’s just that we had to battle and keep Bron out of the paint, make those other guys beat us and I think we did a good job of that tonight. We have one more game on Monday and then we are going to get out of here.”

Irving, who missed Wednesday’s win over the Sacramento Kings due to a left thigh contusion, led the way for the Celtics, with 30 points on a 12-for-18 (and with makes on five of his eight tries from deep) shooting night.

Gordon Hayward continued his recent resurgence, too, with 15 points and a team-best plus-14 in 29 minutes off the bench.

“I think I’m trying not to judge my performance based on whether I’m shooting the ball well or not, but I think I’ve been aggressive in each of the games and I’ve definitely made winning plays for our team,” Hayward offered after the victory. “The thing that I’m most aware of is that we’ve won all of those. They definitely haven’t all been pretty, each one of them has been different. But we found a way to win and that’s important.”

James, meanwhile, finished with a triple-double for the Lakers, with 30 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds in 27 minutes.

The win gave the C’s victories in three straight (all away from TD Garden), and sets the Green up for a California sweep with a Monday night meeting against the Los Angeles Clippers.