Kuzma leads Lakers past rival Celtics

Ross Houston
January 25, 2018

In the final seconds of Tuesday night's Celtics-Lakers game, Marcus Smart missed a potentially game-winning shot at the buzzer. Shortly after the victory-L.A.'s sixth straight at home and third in a row without the rookie out of UCLA-Ball hopped on Twitter to confirm his case of Kuzmania.

Smart was surrounded by better shooters, players who knock down shots much more frequently than his 36 percent this season, and much, much better than his 30 percent from three-point range.

For once, it's nice to catch Zo dapping Kuz on social media rather than trolling him.

"It was a great game for us to learn from", Irving said.

Kuzma, the Lakers' impressive rookie forward from Utah, had his best offensive game since Christmas. Los Angeles almost gave it away by missing four free throws in the final 20 seconds, but Marcus Smart missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics.

Stephen Curry scored 17 of his 32 points in the third quarter to go with seven assists and six rebounds, and the Golden State Warriors used a big second half to beat the New York Knicks 123-112.

In the fourth quarter, Irving seemed to get going early and created early separation for the Celtics before going to the bench for a rest. Smart then hit two free throws for Boston with 19.2 seconds left after Josh Hart missed two for LA, trimming the lead to 106-105. The Los Angeles Clippers are shooting 35.8 percent from beyond the arc and 75.2 percent from the free throw line. Horford did not present symptoms until the morning of the 8th and was placed in the concussion protocol, missing that evening's clash against the Lakers, coincidentally. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has missed the last two games with a strained Achilles tendon and it is unknown whether he will play tonight.

Gordon Hayward was with the Celtics after traveling to Los Angeles last week. He put the Lakers ahead during a 3 ½-minute stretch of the fourth quarter with 13 points and a behind-the-back assist to Larry Nance Jr. for a dunk that brought Staples Center to its feet. Ball leads in rebounds with 7.1 and in assists with 7.1. Horford is averaging 13.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game this season.

"His fourth quarter was incredible", Walton said.

Lakers: At the Chicago Bulls on Friday night to open a five-game road trip.

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