Celtics cruise past Lakers for 10th straight win


The Celtics are piling up injuries almost as quickly as they are victories this season.

Aron Baynes matched his career high with 21 points, Kyrie Irving scored 19 and Boston overcame injuries to Al Horford and Jayson Tatum to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-96 on Wednesday for their 10th straight win.

Baynes also had eight rebounds and three assists, and the Celtics improved to 10-2 even as Horford sat out after being placed in concussion protocol earlier in the day. Boston then lost rookie forward Tatum late in the second quarter, when he went to the locker room with a sore right ankle.

Coach Brad Stevens said Tatum had X-rays and was fitted with a walking boot as a precaution. He will be re-examined on Thursday.

It’s yet another blow for a team that lost Gordon Hayward for the season after a gruesome leg injury on opening night.

“Until we have only four left, I guess we’re just gonna keep playing,” Stevens said.

Boston led by 20 in the second quarter before letting the lead shrink to two in the third. Los Angeles then struggled down the stretch, shooting 5 of 18 from the field with six turnovers in the final period.

Brandon Ingram and Jordan Clarkson led the Lakers with 18 points apiece. Julius Randle had 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Celtics fans gave Los Angeles rookie Lonzo Ball an icy welcome in his first trip to TD Garden. They booed the No. 2 overall pick throughout the night whenever he touched the ball. He finished with nine points, six assists and five rebounds, making just 4 of 15 from the field.

With Tatum sidelined in the second half, Boston struggled defensively, and the Lakers exploited the paint for several easy baskets.

“They hit us in the mouth and we were kind of shocked,” Kyle Kuzma said. “The second quarter and the second half we fought back.”

Irving also got banged up and had his right leg examined by trainers between the third and fourth quarters. He came back with just over six minutes to play and immediately made an impact, scoring back-to-back baskets to push the Celtics’ lead back to 100-90.

Boston led by 48-28 in the second quarter but was outscored 24-13 over the final 6:51 of the half to let the Lakers back into the game.

Warriors 125, Timberwolves 101

In Oakland, Klay Thompson scored 28 points with six 3-pointers, Stephen Curry had 22 points, eight assists and eight rebounds, and Golden State routed Minnesota for its fifth straight win.

Even without injured Kevin Durant, the defending champs began to look like their dominant old selves.

Draymond Green posted another all-round balanced performance with seven points, six rebounds, six assists and two blocks for the Warriors, who played without NBA Finals MVP Durant as he nursed a bruised left thigh. Andre Iguodala started in place of Durant, and the 2015 Finals MVP scored a season-high 11 points.

Andrew Wiggins had 17 points and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Timberwolves had their five-game winning streak snapped.

Heat 126, Suns 115

In Phoenix, former Suns guard Goran Dragic scored a season-high 29 points as Miami topped the hosts.

The Heat made 12 3s, shot a season-best 53.1 percent overall and never trailed.

Magic 112, Knicks 99

In Orlando, the Magic found their rhythm and winning touch with Elfrid Payton back in the lineup and prevailed over short-handed New York.

Payton had 11 points and 11 assists in 29 minutes. Nikola Vucevic led five Orlando players in double figures with 24 points while Evan Fournier added 23

Pistons 114, Pacers 97

In Detroit, Tobias Harris scored 23 points and the first-place Pistons won for the sixth time in seven games.

Andre Drummond added 14 points and 21 rebounds for Detroit.

Victor Oladipo led the Pacers with 21 point

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