Thursday, February 7 at 8:00 PM ET
One of the biggest rivalries in the NBA will be renewed when LeBron James and the Lakers visit Kyrie Irving and the Celtics on Thursday night.
The Lakers are a mess, losing three of their last four games and with constant rumors involving half of the team getting traded for Anthony Davis while the Celtics, who are also after Davis, have won 10 of their last 11 games.
LeBron James suffers the worst loss of his career
The Lakers are coming off a devastating 136-94 road loss against the Pacers last Tuesday, the worst loss by a LeBron James-led team in history.
The Pacers led wire-to-wire and never allowed the Lakers to get within single digits after the first basket of the second quarter, all despite playing without their star Victor Oladipo and in the second game of a back-to-back after a four-game road trip.
Indiana scored 33 points off 19 Los Angeles turnovers and they outscored the Lakers 25-15 on fast break points while limiting them to just 4-for-21 (19.0 percent) from 3-point range. LeBron James missed three of his first five shots and he finished with 18 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and six turnovers before leaving the game with 2:06 remaining in the third quarter.
Celtics win in Cleveland without Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving didn't face his former team because of a strained left hip but Jayson Tatum stepped up with 25 points and led the Celtics to a 103-96 road win against the Cavaliers last Tuesday. Gordon Hayward had 18 points, six rebounds and five assists in 30 minutes off the bench, Marcus Smart scored 17 and Jaylen Brown added 13.
The Cavs outrebounded the Celtics 47-42 but they were limited to just 9-for-33 (27.3 percent) from beyond the arc and they were outscored 16-2 on fast break points. Irving, who leads the Celtics with 23.8 points per game, may return to face the Lakers, hours after the NBA trade deadline.
The Los Angeles Lakers are:
2-5 ATS in their last seven games against a team with a winning percentage above .600
4-16-1 ATS in their last 21 games against Eastern Conference opponents
0-4 ATS in their last four games against Atlantic Division opponents
The Boston Celtics are:
4-1 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss
16-5 ATS in their last 21 home games against a team with a losing road record
37-17 ATS in their last 54 home games
The Lakers are a mess right now and they only have themselves to blame after making very public trade negotiations involving most of their roster for Anthony Davis.
At the time of this writing the Lakers haven't come to an agreement with the Pelicans for Davis but I just can't trust them to be competitive on the road against a Celtics team that is playing incredible basketball.
NBA Pick: Celtics at Jazz Sports
Check odds here: http://bit.ly/jazzsportsON