Celtics rout Lakers 116-95 for 6th straight win
"For whatever reason, we didn't come out real sharp," Los Angeles coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Defensively, it was disappointing that we didn't fight as hard as we've been fighting."
Jeff Green scored 19 points for the Celtics and Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry had 15 each. Garnett became the 16th player in NBA history to score 25,000 points.
Without Rondo controlling the ball, the Celtics are concentrating on moving it quickly and shooting it when they're open. The Lakers gave them plenty of unchallenged shots.
"The roof just kind of caved in on us and it gave them a lot of transition points and easy baskets," said Bryant, who had 27 points. "They were hot. I can't really remember them missing a shot in the third quarter."
They actually missed five. But they made 16, outscored the Lakers 37-25 and ended the period with a 95-69 lead.
"I said to the guys at halftime (if) we rebound the ball a little bit better, we can get out and run and open this game up and I thought that's exactly what we did in the third."
The Lakers cut a 58-44 halftime deficit to 72-61 with 5:07 left in the third quarter, but they came no closer as the Celtics went on a 23-8 run to build their 26-point lead going into the fourth. Pierce started the surge with a three-point play and ended it with a 3-pointer with 41 seconds left.
"The first half was just as bad as the second," said Lakers point guard Steve Nash, who had just nine points and five assists. "Disappointing performance, start to finish."
Perhaps, but to Pierce it was pretty special, another chapter in the rich rivalry.
"It always feels good when you can give them a little old-fashioned beatdown in your house," he said, "no matter what direction these teams are going."
Notes: The Celtics had just nine turnovers to 13 for the Lakers. ... Boston made five of 11 shots from 3-point range. The Lakers were just 5 for 23 and missed 12 of 30 free throws with Howard missing five of six. ... Boston plays at home Sunday for the sixth time in seven games when it meets the Denver Nuggets. ... The Lakers are 3-2 on their seven-game road trip, which continues Friday night in Charlotte and ends Sunday in Miami. ... Six Celtics scored in double figures, the fifth straight game in which they had at least five.