The Celtics received a boost in Rajon Rondo's season-debut, but it wasn't enough to get by the Lakers as they fell, 107-104, Friday night at TD Garden. The C's are now 14-27 on the year and 9-12 at home.
The Celtics had numerous chances to run away with the win, but they couldn't put the Lakers away. They led by six going into the fourth quarter, but allowed the Lakers to outscore them 31-22 in the final frame. Rondo played 19 minutes, being on about a five-minute per quarter limit, finishing with eight points and four assists. Rookie Kelly Olynyk had arguably his best game as a pro as he recorded 25 points, seven assists and five rebounds in the loss.
Pau Gasol paced the Lakers with 24 points in the win, being one of five Lakers finishing in double-figures.
The Celtics will return to action Sunday (6 p.m., CSNNE) in Orlando against the Magic.
What they'll be saying: Rondo's presence was clearly felt on the floor, particularly with ball movement. The team recorded a season-high 34 assists in the loss. The C's had six players finish in double-figures, including three players coming off the bench, in Olynyk, Brandon Bass and Gerald Wallace. They also took good care of the ball, only turning it over eight times. The home team couldn't get it done on the defensive end as they allowed the Lakers to shoot 50 percent from the field, a major reason for the loss.