Celtics stay hot by steamrolling Lakers

The Boston Celtics have yet to lose since Rajon Rondo suffered a torn ACL, and none of their six wins following the All-Star point guard's injury were as impressive as Thursday's 116-95 pasting of the rival Los Angeles Lakers.

Paul Pierce led the way with 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Celtics, who shot 53 percent from the field and led by as many as 32. Jeff Green donated 19 points off the bench, while Jason Terry and Kevin Garnett added 15 apiece in the rout.

"Whenever you match up against the Lakers, it always feels good to give them the old fashioned beat down at your house," said Paul. "It doesn't matter what direction this team is going, there will always be a rivalry. You know everybody's always going to watch and it feels good to win like that."

The Lakers welcomed back Dwight Howard, who missed three straight games with a shoulder injury, but the All-Star center was a virtual non-factor in totaling nine points and nine rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

Kobe Bryant netted 27 points and did not record an assist for just the third time this season, as LA fell to 3-2 on its seven-game road swing.

"It's typical Celtics basketball. They all just put their hard hats on and they go out, go hard and figure things out," Bryant said. "It always just seems like whenever their backs are against the wall, you know that's when you really see the best from them."

Earlier Thursday, the Lakers confirmed forward Pau Gasol will miss at least 6-to-8 weeks due to a tear of his plantar fascia in his right foot.

The news continued getting worse shortly after things tipped off at TD Garden.

The Celtics, losers off six in a row prior to Rondo going down, scored eight of the first 10 points of the second quarter to build a 35-25 cushion, and went into halftime holding a healthy 58-44 lead.

They really turned it on in the third frame, making 16-of-21 (76 percent) from the field to build a 26-point advantage at 95-79 heading to the fourth.

During a quarter-ending 14-3 run, Green threw down a thunderous dunk and got back on defense to block Antawn Jamison at the rim. At the other end, Pierce drained a 3-pointer to cap his 12-point frame, and both teams emptied their benches in the fourth with the outcome no longer in doubt.

"That was a great game by our guys, ball movement, pace," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said. "During the six-game streak we've had a lot of lessons."

Game Notes

The Celtics won both games of a back-to-back for the second time this season ... Garnett passed Elvin Hayes for 12th place on the all-time games played list and sits three behind Buck Williams (1,307) for 11th. With his sixth point, he also reached the 25,000-point plateau ... The Lakers are winless this season on the front end of road/road back-to-backs (0-6) ... Celtics rookie Fab Melo recorded his first career field goal in the fourth quarter ... Lakers forward Metta World Peace, who was suspended for Tuesday's win over the Nets, scored five points on 2-of-13 shooting ... The Lakers took both meetings in last season's series and had won four straight in Boston.