• Celtics and Lakers meet for the first time this season
  • Celtics look to end slide
  • Lakers will try to keep winning on road trip 

A classic NBA showcase awaits Monday as old rivals Lakers and Celtics meet for the first time this season inside the TD Garden in Boston.

The Celtics are looking to snap a three-game losing skid while the Lakers try to stay on the winning side of their current road trip. With both teams tagged as legitimate contenders for a title shot this time – an occurrence that had been sorely missed by the NBA for quite a long time prior to this season – fans are expecting nothing but a slugfest between the arch-rivals.

The Lakers are still the best team in the West, holding a 34-8 record and winners of nine of their last 10 games. The current slide, meanwhile, has dropped the Celtics to fourth place in the East with a 27-14 tally.


Boston suffered an upset loss against Phoenix on Saturday, but Marcus Smart had a night to remember. The blue-collar working guard lit up the stats sheet as he stepped-up in the absence of star guard Kemba Walker. He fired from all cylinders and scored 37 points on 13-of-25 shooting, including a sudden explosion from the great beyond with 11 triples, that along with eight dimes, five caroms, and four steals – all of which just went for naught.

Jayson Tatum connived with Smart and scored 26 points in the loss. He also had 10 boards, three steals, two assists and a block in 39 minutes.

The rest of the core five will have to shift a gear higher to have a chance against the Lakers as Walker and Jaylen Brown both are listed as questionable for the game.


The Lakers are having their fair share of bruised troops ahead of the much-awaited match. Anthony Davis, who has already missed five games due to a hip injury, is still questionable for this game. Rajon Rondo is likewise on the same status as he is still nursing a non-displaced volar plate avulsion fracture of his right ring finger.

That said, Dwight Howard will be tasked to once again provide efficient minutes. The former All-Star has not disappointed since taking the slack usually carried by Davis as he has put up the hustle stats, the needed rebounds and sometimes a scoring bonus for the Lakers.

Odds and Trends:

The Lakers are faves on the road with a -2.5 handicap. The total line is even at 226.

The Celtics are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games as an underdog and 12-3 in their last 15 games as a home underdog.

The Lakers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and 5-1-1 in their last 7 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.

Over is 4-1 in Celtics’ last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game and 4-0 in Lakers’ last 4 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.

Under is 5-1 in Celtics’ last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record and 5-2 in Lakers last 7 Monday games.


Straight-up: Lakers

ATS: Lakers

Total: Over