Lakers, Celtics renew historic rivalry

(SportsNetwork.com) - One of the most storied rivalries in all of sports will be renewed on Friday when the Los Angeles Lakers visit TD Garden to face the Boston Celtics.

These two illustrious franchises have met 12 times in the NBA Finals through the years, but with 10 combined wins at this point in the season, the rivalry has lost some luster.

Perhaps the several photos taken of Lakers' stud Kobe Bryant and Boston All- Star Rajon Rondo having breakfast together on Thursday dimmed the intensity, but the standings probably have more to do with the lack of buzz.

The Lakers complete a three-game eastern swing on Friday and are 1-1 thus far. LA started the sojourn with a 10-point victory in Detroit, but fell to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, 111-95.

Bryant led all scorers with 29 points, 15 of which came in the first quarter. Former Wizard Nick Young made 5-of-8 3-pointers on his way to 21 points for the Lakers, whose two-game winning streak was snapped.

The Lakers fought valiantly after trailing by nine after three quarters.

"With a minute and a half left, we were still right there," said Lakers coach Byron Scott. "We just needed more guys to join the party."

The Celtics snapped a five-game losing streak on Wednesday against those same lowly Pistons.

Jared Sullinger scored 10 of his 14 points in overtime to help the Celtics snap their five-game losing streak with a 109-102 home win.

"It feels awesome," Sullinger said of closing out the win. "Everybody's in a smiling mood."

Jeff Green supplied 32 points to pace Boston and Kelly Olynyk added 20 in a reserve role. It was a tough night for Rondo, who had two points, eight assists and four turnovers.

Rondo assisted on Sullinger's 3-pointer to open the extra session, then he ripped the ball away from Greg Monroe, raced up the floor and found Green, who knocked down a corner 3 to push the Celtics lead to 94-88. Evan Turner followed with a tough runner to force a Detroit timeout with 3:18 left.

Like he did in the fourth quarter, Monroe kept the Pistons in it with four straight points, but Sullinger countered with another 3-pointer which preceded his jumper that made it 101-92.

The Celtics didn't necessarily help themselves in the final minute, as Andre Drummond followed Turner's free throw with a three-point play, then Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a 3 after Olynyk went 1-of-2 from the line.

Green went to the line and calmly made a pair of free throws as the Celtics held on.

Marcus Smart, Boston's sixth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, was held scoreless in his return to the lineup from a 10-game absence due to a sprained ankle.

The Lakers have won three straight in this series and six of the last seven. LA has taken five of its last six in Boston.