Isaiah Thomas scored 17 points in the fourth quarter and came within two points of becoming the first Boston Celtics' player to score 40 points in three straight games.
Ultimately, Thomas settled for 38 points and a 113-107 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, which helped the Celtics secure their sixth straight victory and further solidified their standing as the second best team in the Eastern Conference. Also, beating the franchise's biggest rival helped put a smile on the point guard's face at the final buzzer.
The Lakers, meanwhile, finished with five different scorers in double figures, led by Lou Williams off the bench with 21 points. D'Angelo Russell led the starting unit with 20 points, six assists and six rebounds in the loss, while Nick Young scored 17 points and hit five three-pointers on the night.
Overall, the Lakers shot 39.4 percent from the field and missed a number of open looks on the night.
In terms of the game flow, the Lakers started slow and trailed 7-0 before finding their feet and finishing the first quarter leading 30-29. Boston turned up the pressure and took a nine-point lead into the halftime intermission before jumping out to a 17-point advantage in the third quarter. LA especially struggled to hit shots early in the third quarter.
Down the stretch, however, the Lakers clawed back to within seven points with 3:49 remaining in the game. However, a series of three-point attempts early in the shot clock failed to go down, and Thomas made the Lakers pay for their misses. Seventeen fourth quarter points for the Celtics' point guard secured the victory for the home team.
With 90 seconds remaining, Thomas only needed two points to set the record and become the first Celtics' player to score 40 points in three straight games. However, the point guard failed to attempt another shot. After the game, he told ESPN cameras that he had no clue that he was within touching distance of history with a smile and did not seem bothered by missing out.
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With the win, the Celtics improved to 31-18. With the loss, the Lakers dropped to 17-35. Next, the Lakers play in New York on Monday.