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Celtics start tough road trip vs. Lakers

The Boston Celtics try to stay hot this afternoon when they high eight-game road trip against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.

The Celtics rebounded from a loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday to beat Portland on Friday. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen scored 22 points apiece in that one, as the Celtics rolled to a 104-86 rout of the Trail Blazers.

Boston fell 103-71 to the 76ers on Wednesday, but led by as many as 43 against Portland, getting 12 points from Avery Bradley and 10 from Sasha Pavlovic. The Celts have won six of their last seven games.

"I mean, obviously we don't want to lose the way we lost the other night," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "I just thought we played extremely well, and (Portland) struggled. You could see they missed shots early and they got frustrated. There was a stretch for us (where) our ball movement was absolutely sensational."

Now they hit the road, where they are just 5-10 on the season. The Celtics have also lost six of their last seven away from home.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, also enters on a high note after Kobe Bryant made four key free throws in the final 16.4 seconds to lift the Lakers past the Minnesota Timberwolves, 105-102, on Friday.

Bryant had 34 points and surpassed 29,000 points for his career for the Lakers, who bounced back from consecutive losses to the lowly Wizards and Pistons, but won for the sixth time in their last nine games overall.

Andrew Bynum added 26 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles, while Pau Gasol donated 12 points and 11 boards.

"It's a good win for us from the standpoint that I thought we came out, were a little flat, turned the ball over and gave them confidence early, but I thought our guys showed some toughness," Lakers coach Mike Brown said.

The Lakers pulled out a one-point win in overtime over the Celtics back on Feb. 9 and have won five of the last seven matchups. Boston, though, has won three of four and four of six as the road team in this series.