Hitting their stride at the right time, the Celtics continued their winning ways Thursday, as a 121-113 final over the battered Lakers at the Staples Center powered the Green to their fifth straight victory.
For Boston, the scoring was led by the strong performance of Jaylen Brown, who started hot and stayed hot, with 40 points on 17-for-20 shooting in 32:06 of play.
The 40-point effort was Brown’s third effort of at least 40 points this season, and made history, as Brown became the first player in Celtic history to record at least 40 points while shooting at least 85 percent from the field. (The previous high was held by Bob McAdoo, who scored 42 points on 81.8 percent shooting in a Mar. 1979 contest.)
“Jaylen was just unreal tonight,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “He just stayed hot. He’s done a good job. Tonight he was really dialed scoring the ball. He’s had a great year and he continues to get better.
“Tonight was the night he got going and we tried to ride that as much as possible.”
But even with Brown going off, and LeBron James and Anthony Davis out of action, the Lakers refused to go down without a fight in this contest. At one point down by 27, the Lakers scored 29 of the final 39 points of the night, and at one point brought themselves within five before the Celtics iced the game with some free throws to make it an eight-point victory.
The Lakers, who never held a lead in this game, were paced by a team-leading 19 points from Talen Horton-Tucker, and hae six shooters finish in double-digit scoring by the night’s end.
The Celtics, meanwhile, got strong support behind Brown’s 40-point night, as every Boston starter scored at least 12 points, while Payton Pritchard chipped in with 15 points on 5-for-11 shooting in almost 20 minutes of play.
Boston’s 56.5 field goal percentage as a team was their second-highest single-game of the 2020-21 season, trailing only the team’s Mar. 4 win over the Raptors, which came with a 60.8 field goal percentage.
The Celtics will return home for a three-game homestand beginning with a Saturday night head-to-head with Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors.