The Celtics vs. Lakers takeaway: Jaylen Brown gets redemption in wild OT win

The Celtics vs. Lakers takeaway: Jaylen Brown gets redemption in wild OT win

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers played one of the wildest games of the NBA season at TD Garden on Saturday night. After a contentious end to the fourth quarter and a hotly contested overtime, the C’s escaped with a 125-121 victory.

After a slow second quarter, the C’s went ahead with a 21-8 run in the third. Boston and LA traded punches throughout a dramatic fourth quarter that certainly won’t sit well with the Lakers.

In the last seconds of regulation, Jayson Tatum appeared to foul LeBron James but the refs didn’t make a call. This sent the game into overtime. James wore his emotions on his sleeve, to say the least.

Patrick Beverley also gave the umpires an earful. The Lakers guard earned a technical foul for handing a camera to an official in an effort to show him evidence of the foul.

However, the game went into OT and the Celtics prevailed. Jaylen Brown played the hero with 37 points while Jayson Tatum downloaded 30. Malcolm Brogdon added 26 off the bench.

James had a game-high 41 points for LA. Anthony Davis had 16 points off the bench and Beverley added 15 in the losing effort.

The hard-fought win snaps a three-game losing streak for the C’s. They will have the next three days off before a meeting with the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.

Here are our takeaways from the C’s thrilling win over the Lakers, which moves them to 36-15 on the season.

Jaylen Brown achieves redemption

Jaylen Brown was hard on himself after Thursday’s loss to the New York Knicks. His two missed free throws in crunch time sealed Boston’s fate, and he took responsibility.

“Those two missed free throws embodied the whole game,” he said after the loss. “I didn’t get it going, I didn’t give my teammates enough energy to get the win, and that’s what happens when you don’t come out and give your best. I’ll be better.”

He backed up that statement on Saturday.

Brown erupted for 37 points and most of them came in the clutch. He nailed all of his free throws when the game was in the balance. He had nine points in the fourth quarter to keep the Celtics alive, then finished the job with 11 points in OT.

Brown was in foul trouble early and played with five personal fouls in overtime, but stayed aggressive and stepped up as a hero. His coach, Joe Mazzullahe was proud

“Just his resilience to not let the circumstances affect his mentality,” Mazzulla said after the game. “His execution was tremendous. … The league gives you opportunities to come back.”

Big night for Malcolm Brogdon

Mazzulla went with a seven-man rotation in the second half and it paid off with Malcolm Brogdon putting on a show.

Brogdon hit some of the Celtics’ best shots of the night, including in the third quarter when he put his team back in front with a 3 to cap a 21-8 run.

He also drilled a clutch layup in the fourth that gave the Celtics a 98-96 lead.

The veteran guard finished with 26 points, his second-highest total of the season (30 vs. Charlotte on Jan. 14). He was 8-for-15 from the floor (3-7 3PT) and had six rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Meanwhile, Brogdon’s biggest competition for Sixth Man of the Year award Russell Westbrook was a mistake. He shot 4-for-14 from the floor with 12 points and five turnovers. Consider it a statement from “The President.”

Marcus Smart was sidelined for the fourth straight game with a sprained ankle. The Celtics avoided losing their fourth straight game, but it’s still hard to look past Smart’s glaring absence.

The C’s offense just hasn’t looked the same with Smart out of the lineup. His shooting percentages dipped during his three-game skid and his ball movement hasn’t been as sharp since his injury.

Boston had just one assist the entire second quarter, which was a big reason why they gave up their nine-point lead. He had just seven assists midway through the third quarter.

The Celtics’ season low in assists is 17. They had 18 on Saturday night, even with the overtime period to round out their numbers.

It’s clear the C’s are missing their reigning playmaker and Defensive Player of the Year. Fortunately for Smart and the team, they will have three days off before hosting the Nets on Wednesday. Smart’s status will be worth monitoring on the injury report heading into the game.

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