The game was won by the Celtics 126–115.

The game was won by the Celtics 126–115.

A very old proverb says that defense leads to attack. The Boston Celtics had exactly that happen at the most important times in their Christmas Day game in Los Angeles against the Lakers.

There aren’t many guards in the league who can match up with LeBron James in the post. One of them is Jrue Holiday.

In the middle of the fourth period, Holiday made James turn the ball over, which started a crucial run by the Celtics that won the game.

With five minutes left in the game and Boston ahead by ten, James tried to post up Holiday, but Holiday stood his ground.

James couldn’t get anything going by himself, so he tried to sneak a pass to Rui Hachimura in the paint in Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis. But James’ pass to Porzingis was more or less a hand-off.

Right away, Porzingis passed the ball to Holiday, who then passed it to Derrick White, and she found Jayson Tatum running down the court for an easy alley-oop in transition.

During the run, the Celtics also made James turn the ball over again and held LA to just two points.

Boston, on the other hand, only missed one field goal but made four and added a free throw while not turning the ball over once. They then won the game easily.

That basket started a 9-4 run for Boston that put the C’s ahead 122-107 with 2:40 left and pretty much sealed the win.

Kristaps Porzingis might not be able to play against the Lakers on Christmas Day. His performance was not only good, but he also won.

Porzingis started the game and played 35 minutes or more of great basketball, scoring 28 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. He got his fourth double-double of the season with this game.

Only Anthony Davis of the Lakers scored more points and grabbed more rebounds than Porzingis (40 points and 13 rebounds).

This means that Boston’s big man led the group in both categories. His other skills during the game were to pass the ball twice, block two shots, and steal the ball.

While he was on the court, the Celtics were very good. Over the course of his 35 minutes of play, they beat Los Angeles by 16 points. He tied Derrick White for the game’s best plus/minus number.

It’s true that this wasn’t pretty. Boston lost most of an 18-point lead in the first quarter by halfway.

There were a lot of three-point alarmists on ESPN’s halftime show because the Celtics only made 7 of 24 three-point shots in both of the first quarters.

After losing a close game in OT to Golden State, the Celtics beat the Kings, Clippers, and Lakers, all of whom were in the running for a spot in the Western Conference playoffs. As of their last game, the Clippers had taken nine of their last ten.

They lost by 37 points to the Celtics. They had a few days left to win in Oklahoma City. In the second half, Boston beat them by 68 points.

Their attack and defense are both in the top five in the NBA, and their front six is the best in the league. It’s their selflessness that makes it all work.

The second half, however, was typical Boston. They dominated the Lakers with a clean (only eight turnovers) and varied offense (all five starters scored at least 18 points), while also playing good enough defense against everyone but Anthony Davis (40 points) to beat them 68–58.

There are times when it’s fair to criticize three-point shooting. It was bad that they only made 15 of 47 three-point shots during their early-season loss to Philadelphia. It was worse if you missed 41 threes last week against the Warriors.

Of those threes, the Celtics make a lot (37.8%, fifth in the NBA). They also take a lot (43.3 per game), which is the most in the league. In fact, no team makes more than the 16.4 that Boston does.

Who can stop them if they are making threes? Boston got ahead by 12 points in the first three minutes, and Celtics’ MVP candidate Jayson Tatum didn’t even touch the ball. The five starters came into Monday’s game 14-1 and had a net rating of almost +20 points per 100 plays.