Lakers.com takes a look back the historic rivals’ two regular season meetings this year. Both teams will have a decidedly different look when they meet in Boston this Thursday, with the Celtics picking up savvy veterans Sam Cassell and P.J. Brown to join in their championship run and the Lakers making an even bigger splash by acquiring Trevor Ariza and Pau Gasol to help fill the void left by Andrew Bynum’s injury.
November 23: Lakers 94, Boston 107
Boston jumped out to a quick 25-16 lead at the end of the first quarter and the Lakers were unable to recover, trailing by 18 at halftime in an eventual 94-107 loss. The Celtics’ vaunted “Big Three” were on full display in the early-season tilt, combining for 59 points, led by 21 points and 11 rebounds from newcomer Kevin Garnett.
Young center Kendrick Perkins also turned in a surprising 21 point, nine rebound performance. Kobe led the way in scoring for L.A. with 28, but only Vladimir Radmanovic managed to score more than 18 points in what was another display of the then 10-1 Celtics’ dominance in the first half of the season.
December 30: Celtics 110, Lakers 91
Looking for revenge against Boston for their blowout loss a little more than one month earlier, the Lakers were punished again by the more-prepared Celtics in a game many fans remember more for the throwback “short shorts” worn by L.A. than the forgettable result. Once again, the Celtics’ “Big Three” came up with big-time performances in front of a hostile STAPLES Center crowd, combining for 74 points this time around.
Paul Pierce in particular dominated the Lakers, dropping 33 points and eight rebounds in a return to his hometown. Similar to the way Perkins got off in their first meeting, the purple and gold allowed another lesser-known Celtics player to shine as Tony Allen knocked in 16 points. For L.A., no player scored more than Kobe’s 22, but even that performance was marred by Bryant’s poor 6-25 shooting night.