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Celtics win their 10th in a row, but L.A. makes it interesting after trailing by 21

Tania Ganguli, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Basketball

Instead, the Celtics began to pull away, with the help of a 10-0 run. By the end of the first quarter, the Lakers trailed 33-16. During that period the Lakers committed nine of their 21 turnovers.

"Us just not valuing the ball," Ingram said. "I think they were the more physical team in the first quarter. They played pretty good defense, but like I said we weren't the aggressor in the first quarter."

Starting in the second quarter, after falling behind by 21 points, the Lakers gave themselves a chance.

"Just the effort and energy to be honest," Ball said. "In second quarter we came out wanting it, but first quarter, I felt like (we should have had more effort), because they were 9-0, we owed them some."

It was 61-52 at the half. During one sequence in the third quarter, Brook Lopez dunked, Clarkson made a three-pointer, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a long two-pointer and Ingram drove to the basket to scoop the ball up and drop it through the net. Clarkson finished a 6-0 run with a driving layup that got the Lakers within two points of the Celtics at 76-74

In the fourth quarter, the Lakers got within three points, but couldn't capitalize on chances to get closer.

"Couldn't hit a shot," Randle said.

Neither team scored for almost three minutes in the fourth quarter. Randle finally broke the fast with a jumper and a made free throw that brought the Lakers within 89-86.

"We just started taking the fight to them," Randle said. "Stopped worrying so much about what they were doing and just started being aggressive and taking the fight to them."

Although frustrated with the way his team played to start the game, Walton took some solace in that it changed.

"They could have folded after the first quarter we had and said we've got another one tomorrow night," Walton said. "But that's not what this group is about, so I'm proud of the way that they re-engaged themselves and started competing out there."

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