Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers continue their seven-game road trip with revenge on their mind, as they battle Paul Pierce and the Celtics on TNT from TD Garden in Boston. After winning the first two games of their Grammy road trip, the Lakers look to avenge a 109-96 home loss to the Celtics 11 days ago. Since Pau Gasol joined the Lakers in February 2008, the Lakers and Celtics have met 18 times, including two memorable NBA Finals, with the Lakers and Celtics each winning nine times.
While the Lakers have been distracted by all the , seeing the green of the Celtics is an easy way for the team to snap to attention and focus on basketball. The Lakers have treated the Anthony trade talk the way they have discussed their poor record against the top teams in the NBA this season: by complete dismissal. As a team coming off of two consecutive titles, they can be afforded the benefit of the doubt when they say wait until the playoffs, but after five losses in five tries this season against the trade talk of the last two daysSpurs, Celtics, Heat, and Mavericks, this is a Laker team in need of a big win. And, for the Lakers, there is no bigger win than one against the Celtics.
Gasol has had a successful road trip so far, averaging 25.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in the first two games. In his last three contests, Gasol has made 27 of 38 field goal attempts, shooting 71.1%. Bryant has made 24 consecutive free throws, dating back to Feb. 1 against Houston. The Celtics are 2-2 since beating the Lakers, with losses at home to Dallas and on the road in Charlotte. Tonight's 5 p.m. PST game will be nationally televised on TNT.
For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.