BOSTON – These are not the Boston Celtics that Rajon Rondo left behind almost a year ago, a roster of All-Stars just a couple of seasons removed from their second trip to the NBA Finals in three years.
Rondo returned from a knee injury and missed a 3-pointer that could have sent the game into overtime, sending the Los Angeles Lakers to a 107-104 victory on Friday night.
I thought he made a lot of plays down the stretch, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said after seeing his All-Star point guard in a game for the first time. Just came up a little bit short. But I was glad he had the ball.
Pau Gasol had 24 points and 13 rebounds for Los Angeles, and Kendall Marshall added 19 points and 14 assists, including a 3-pointer with 69 seconds left to give the Lakers their first lead of the second half. Ryan Kelly scored 20 points and Wesley Johnson added 11 points and 11 rebounds.
It was an incredible experience for me, said Kelly, who added a pair of free throws with 9.4 seconds remaining as the Lakers snapped a six-game losing streak. We were sliding there a little bit. We needed it, and we made the plays that made the difference.
Kelly Olynyk scored a career-high 25 points for Boston. Rondo, who was limited to 20 minutes in his first game since tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament on Jan. 25, 2013, had eight points, four assists and two rebounds.
WIZARDS 96, BULLS 93: In Washington, John Wall had 23 points and 11 assists as Washington won its third in a row and reached .500 for the third time this season.
HEAT 101, 76ERS 86: In Philadelphia, LeBron James had 21 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds to help Miami snap a three-game losing streak.
BOBCATS 111, MAGIC 101: In Orlando, Fla., Al Jefferson had 30 points and 16 rebounds, and Kemba Walker added 19 points and 10 assists to lead Charlotte.
RAPTORS 94, TIMBERWOLVES 89: In Toronto, Kyle Lowry scored 24 points, and Amir Johnson had 19 as Toronto captured its 10th straight home victory.
CLIPPERS 109, KNICKS 95: In New York, Blake Griffin scored 32 points, and Jamal Crawford added 29 as Los Angeles opened a seven-game road trip with its fifth straight victory.
JAZZ 110, PISTONS 89: In Auburn Hills, Mich., Trey Burke had 20 points and a career-high 12 assists in his return to Michigan to lead Utah.
GRIZZLIES 91, KINGS 90: In Memphis, Tenn., Mike Conley had 25 points and six assists, then grabbed possession of a jump ball in the final 2 seconds to help Memphis secure its fifth straight victory.
TRAIL BLAZERS 109, SPURS 100: In San Antonio, LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and 13 rebounds, and Wesley Matthews scored 24 points as Portland snapped San Antonio’s six-game winning streak.
MAVERICKS 110, SUNS 107: In Phoenix, rookie Shane Larkin scored a career-high 18 points, including two free throws with 11.1 seconds to play, to lead Dallas.
CAVALIERS 117, NUGGETS 109: In Denver, Kyrie Irving scored 23 points, and Tristan Thompson had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead Cleveland.