NBA: Boston Celtics hand LA Lakers their heaviest defeat of the season
The Boston Celtics recorded a 116-95 victory over bitter rivals the Los Angeles Lakers to claim a sixth straight win.
Last Updated: 08/02/13 10:24am
The Celtics were given a huge blow in January when star point guard Rajon Rondo was ruled out for the rest of the season, but they have won every game since.
Paul Pierce led the way with 24 points while Jeff Green contributed 19 points from the bench and Kevin Garnett also chipped in with 15.
"We are fighters, we are a team that is going to fight for 48 minutes. It's not always pretty, we are not perfect and we are human but we play hard," Garnett said.
"With Rajon going out, Paul and I really have to facilitate the responsibility of being leaders out there."
Kobe Bryant's 27 points proved only to be consolation for Los Angeles, who suffered their heaviest defeat of what has so far been a tumultuous campaign.
Dwight Howard returned from a three-game lay-off but the Lakers were without Pau Gasol, who is expected to be out for two months with a foot injury.
Elsewhere in the NBA on Thursday, the Denver Nuggets cruised to a 128-96 win over the Chicago Bulls to improve to 32-18 and move up to fourth in the Western Conference.
Wilson Chandler came off the bench to score 24 points in just 19 minutes on the floor as the Nuggets recorded their eighth straight victory.
A dominant performance from Kenneth Faried saw him register a double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Ty Lawson also recorded a double-double of 16 points and 12 assists.