We broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 113-99 win against Boston:
Career assists for Steve Nash, who passed Magic Johnson for No. 4 all-time in NBA history (10,141) feeding Antawn Jamison for a baseline bucket. “It’s crazy,” Nash said of the accomplishment. “I definitely didn’t see that coming when I was 15 years old. What can I say? He’s an idol of mine. I grew up watching him and idolizing him and trying to emulate him. To do it here in L.A. with this franchise is definitely special.”
Rebounds for the Lakers, with Earl Clark (16, a career-high) and Dwight Howard (12) combining for 28. L.A. owned a plus-15 in this category after getting outrebounded 36-30 in the last meeting on Feb. 7 at Boston. The home team also grabbed 14 offensive rebounds, leading to 17 second-chance points, compared to the Celtics seven.
Plus-rating for Howard, who finished with a team-high 24 points, to go along with 12 boards, one steal and one block. In the first quarter alone, the big man recorded 12 points and six rebounds in helping the Lakers jump out to a 36-27 lead. “I think he’s had some good games, but he was definitely great tonight,” Nash said of Howard’s play. “He really tried to work and do the little things for his teammates. He can make a such big impact on the game regardless of the stat sheet if he plays with a belief, hunger and energy.”
Laker players in double figures, including all five starters. The offensive balance was evident as all seven players who finished with double-digit points had at least seven field-goal attempts. In the second half, L.A. recorded 14 assists on 19 made field-goals. “We moved bodies (on offense) and moved the ball and made it tough on their defense,” Nash said. “I think it gives us a little more of an identity. We don’t have guys standing around as much at the end of the game, so I think it fueled us on both ends of the floor to have that movement.”
Points for Paul Pierce – all on free throws – as he failed to convert on his two shot attempts in 12 minutes after halftime. This was after the Kansas product recorded 23 in the opening 24 minutes of play (9 of 15 from the floor, including 4 of 7 from deep). Pierce played just a single minute in the fourth as the Lakers lead swelled to as many as 22 points with Boston on the second game of a back-to-back (played at Denver the previous night).