The familiar "Beat LA!'' chant started in the third quarter.
It's easier to do that now than it was during most of the Lakers-Celtics rivalry. But there's still something special when the teams who have met in a record 12 NBA Finals face each other, even if they've been struggling just to reach the playoffs.
"No matter what direction these teams are going, it'll always be a rivalry,'' Paul Pierce said. "Everybody's always going to watch.''
On Thursday night, they saw a 116-95 rout by Boston, its biggest win of the season and Los Angeles' worst loss.
The Lakers got Dwight Howard back after he missed three games with a sore right shoulder. He had nine points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes before fouling out with 5:07 left.
"There were a couple times where I felt'' pain in the shoulder, he said. "I just tried not to think about it.''
But they were without Pau Gasol for the first time since he was diagnosed with a torn plantar fascia in his right foot that will sideline him indefinitely.
Boston was missing two key players, both out for the season. Point guard Rajon Rondo sat out his sixth game with a torn ligament in his right knee and the Celtics have won them all. Rookie forward Jared Sullinger missed his fourth game following back surgery.
In fact, only two active players on each team remained from the 2010 squads that reached the NBA Finals, won in seven games by the Lakers - Pierce and Kevin Garnett for Boston and Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace for Los Angeles.
In 2008, the Celtics won the title in six games over the Lakers. Before that, they met three times in the Larry Bird-Magic Johnson era of the 1980s with Los Angeles winning twice.
"You walk through these hallways when you come in here,'' said Pierce, who scored 12 of his 24 points in the third quarter when Boston pulled away. "You see the whole rivalry, pictures. You see throughout the decades how it goes, regular season, postseason, championship. It's always going to have that extra little edge to this game.''
But now the Lakers are in 10th place in the West, 3 1/2 games behind the Houston Rockets for the final playoff spot in the conference despite winning six of their last eight games. The Celtics broke a seventh-place tie with the Milwaukee Bucks in the East and trail the Atlanta Hawks by just 1 1/2 games for sixth.
They've moved up without their star point guard.
"Our guys just think they're good,'' Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "We're playing selfless and free.''
The Lakers aren't passing the ball well enough with just 16 assists on Thursday or shooting accurately with just a 41.4 field goal percentage against the Celtics.
"For whatever reason, we didn't come out real sharp,'' Los Angeles coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Defensively, it was disappointing that we didn't fight as hard as we've been fighting.''
Jeff Green scored 19 points for the Celtics and Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry had 15 each. Garnett became the 16th player in NBA history to score 25,000 points.
Without Rondo controlling the ball, the Celtics are concentrating on moving it quickly and shooting it when they're open. The Lakers gave them plenty of unchallenged shots.
"The roof just kind of caved in on us and it gave them a lot of transition points and easy baskets,'' said Bryant, who had 27 points. "They were hot. I can't really remember them missing a shot in the third quarter.''
They actually missed five. But they made 16, outscored the Lakers 37-25 and ended the period with a 95-69 lead.
"I said to the guys at halftime (if) we rebound the ball a little bit better, we can get out and run and open this game up and I thought that's exactly what we did in the third.''
The Lakers cut a 58-44 halftime deficit to 72-61 with 5:07 left in the third quarter, but they came no closer as the Celtics went on a 23-8 run to build their 26-point lead going into the fourth. Pierce started the surge with a three-point play and ended it with a 3-pointer with 41 seconds left.
"The first half was just as bad as the second,'' said Lakers point guard Steve Nash, who had just nine points and five assists. "Disappointing performance, start to finish.''
Perhaps, but to Pierce it was pretty special, another chapter in the rich rivalry.
"It always feels good when you can give them a little old-fashioned beatdown in your house,'' he said, "no matter what direction these teams are going.''
The familiar "Beat LA!'' chant started in the third quarter.
Claremore’s Webster tabbed 5A-4 Special Teams Player of Year
Claremore senior wide receiver Caleb Webster capped off his final year of high school football with the District 5A-4 Special Teams Player of the Year award.
It took a little over 57 minutes, but Bedlam finally broke out at Boone Pickens Stadium. That was when a defensive struggle turned into an offensive shootout.
Oklahoma landed the last two blows and left with a 33-24 upset victory in one of the most memorable games in the series’ 108-game history.
LCU Lady Chaps cruise past Rogers State, 84-65
The Rogers State women’s basketball team dropped a 84-65 decision to Lubbock Christian on Saturday afternoon at the Claremore Expo.
Ex-Zebra shooter Miller provides spark for Allen CC
The success of the Allen Community College Red Devils this season has been aided by former Claremore Zebra shooting guard Alex Miller.
The 6-foot-1 sophomore guard was one of five players to score in double figures during the Red Devils’ 80-76 win over Fort Scott (Kan.) last week.
Foyil’s Pierce named District A-8 top offensive lineman
The key to the Foyil Panthers’ football success over the past four seasons inside McGregor Field has been attributed to the leadership of senior offensive lineman Daltun Pierce’s ability to win the battle in the trenches.
Earlier this month, Pierce was named the District A-8 Offensive Lineman of the Year.
McCown, Bears flawless in 45-28 win over Cowboys
Neither the brutal cold nor the league's worst defense could stop Josh McCown and the Bears.
Instead, Chicago jumped right back into the playoff race.
McCown threw for a career-high four touchdowns, and the Bears scored on their first eight possessions to grab a share of the NFC North lead with a 45-28 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on a frigid Monday night.
OU releases 2014 women's softball schedule
University of Oklahoma Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Programs and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione and Oklahoma softball head coach Patty Gasso have announced the Sooners’ 2014 softball schedule.
OU baseball season tickets on sale
Season tickets for the University of Oklahoma baseball 2014 season are now on sale to the public through SoonerSports.com. Tickets can also be purchased over the phone at 405-325-2424 or toll-free at 800-456-GoOU.
OU baseball hires new pitching coach
University of Oklahoma head baseball coach Pete Hughes has named Jamie Pinzino as the program’s new assistant baseball and pitching coach. Pinzino, a 12-year veteran in the collegiate ranks and seven-year head coach, comes to Norman after a one-year stint as head coach at William & Mary, preceded by one year as an assistant for the Tribe.
OU baseball announces 'mini-pack' ticket packages
Baseball mini-packs are on sale now for the University of Oklahoma’s 2014 season. The “Grand Slam Package” allows fans to pick any for games for a special low price of $32. This package includes reserved seats and represents a 33% discount off the regular single-game reserved price. Order online at SoonerSports.com or call (800) 456-GoOU.
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