When MarShon Brooks was a member of the Boston Celtics throughout the first half of the season, there’s no doubt that he was probably getting frustrated because of his limited playing time.
Two trades and six weeks later, Brooks found himself suiting up for the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time against the team that traded him in January and he did everything in his power to let the Celtics know they made a mistake letting him go.
Brooks scored 10 fourth quarter points in a season-high 23 minutes, as he helped the Lakers overcome a 13-point deficit to beat the Celtics 102-91 on Friday night at Staples Center.
The former first-round pick has had a frustrating year so far. Aside from being traded three times in less than a year, he only averaged 6.2 minutes per game in his stints with the Celtics and Golden State Warriors and even spent time with their respective D-League teams.
After leading 74-61 with less than a minute to go in the third quarter, Brooks’ former team collapsed defensively. The Lakers outscored Boston 40-18 over the last 13 minutes of the game led by a surge by Brooks where he scored 10 consecutive points in a span of just over two minutes to cut the lead to five.
Jordan Farmar, who along with Pau Gasol and Rajon Rondo were the only two remnants on both teams from the 2010 NBA Finals, hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to two points. On the very next possession, a Jeryd Bayless turnover turned into an emphatic Brooks dunk which evened up the score. The former first-round pick finished with 14 points.
After the Lakers took the lead, veteran Chris Kaman caught fire and buried the Celtics by scoring eight points over the last 6:39.
The victory for the Lakers snapped an eight-game home losing streak, which was the longest in franchise history. Like the Celtics, the Lakers are in rebuilding mode and they acquired Brooks right before the trade deadline along with Kent Bazemore, who scored 15 points in his Laker debut, from Golden State for oft-injured point guard Steve Blake.
The Celtics, who stood pat on deadline day, controlled the pace throughout the first three quarters as they held the offensive-minded Lakers to just 63 points. The game between the two storied rivals was a sloppy affair throughout this period as both teams combined for 25 turnovers – 15 of which came from the Lakers. The teams also combined for just 6-for-32 shooting from 3-pointers during that span.
The difference of the game was the Lakers’ ability to finally be able to score and the continuation of the Celtics struggles from the field. The Celtics shot just 39 percent on the night and were an abysmal 18 percent from 3-point land. After the Lakers established a lead late in the fourth, the Staples Center crowd, which had been silent for most of the game, broke out in a familiar anti-Boston chant with 3:45 left in the game.
Jeff Green and Brandon Bass led the way offensively for Boston with 21 and 20 points, respectively. However, Rondo was held to just 2-of-12 shooting and Boston’s bench was silent for much of the game as they were outscored by the Los Angeles bench, 63-21.
The Celtics have now lost three consecutive game and are winless after their second game of their four-game west coast road swing. This also marks the sixth loss in seven tries against their arch-rival. The Lakers swept the season series for the second time in three years.
If there is any silver lining from having a player who once rode your benches burn you, the Lakers are now a half-game ahead of the Celtics, which matters in terms of draft lottery percentages. Perhaps that could be an arguing point for Boston fans, who have found it awfully difficult to be positive about anything this season.