The Los Angeles Lakers evened the season score against their rivals on Tuesday. The purple and gold consistently made the Boston Celtics pay for turnovers and poor shot selection. Those mistakes fueled the Lakers' transition offense, helping them get and stay in rhythm, it forced the Celtics to operate in the half-court more than them, and it was the key to them building a lead that once reached 20 points.
Along with further exploring that topic, here's what else stood out in the Lakers' win over the Celtics.
Eventful First Quarter
Less than four minutes into the game, Jayson Tatum had 14 points on 5/5 shooting, doing all of Boston's scoring. LeBron James finished the frame with 16 points on 6/7 shooting. Robert Williams nearly elevated out of what for now is still the Staples Center before throwing down two thunderous alley-oops. And the Lakers scored an impressive 18 points in the paint. The action-filled opening quarter ended with Boston leading Los Angeles 33-31.
Celtics Pay for Their Mistakes
The majority of the time that the Celtics made a mistake, whether it was a turnover or forcing the issue with an ill-advised shot, the Lakers made them pay for it at the other end. Largely thanks to Boston's blunders, with 2:04 left to play in the third quarter, Los Angeles had already generated 50 points in the paint. They finished the game with 66 from that part of the floor.
Per Chris Grenham, who covers the Celtics for Forbes Sports, this was the third-straight game Boston's allowed 50+-points in the paint.
Jayson Tatum Scores 30+ Points for the Seventh Time in 11 Games
After scoring the Celtics' first 14 points of the game, Jayson Tatum, who started 4/4 from three, only made one more shot from beyond the arc. However, because he consistently attacked the rim, Tatum produced 12 points in the restricted area, again eclipsing 30 points, finishing with 34 on 13/22 shooting (59 percent).
Russell Westbrook Delivers One of His Best Games as a Laker
Westbrook only committed four turnovers, his shot selection was equally as disciplined, and unlike the last time these two rivals met up, he played well defensively. The nine-time All-Star finished with 24 points on 9/16 shooting, dished out 11 assists, and earned a plus-minus rating of +11.
With Tuesday's loss, the Celtics fall to 1-2 on their west coast road trip. They'll be back in the Staples Center on Wednesday for the second half of this back-to-back with a matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers. Tip-off is at 10:30 PM EST.