The smile widened on Byron Scott’s face. His voice sounded at ease. Scott appeared noticeably relaxed as he sat at the podium talking about a rare Lakers’ win.
But this wasn’t just any ordinary victory. The Lakers secured a 118-111 overtime win against the hated Boston Celtics on Sunday at Staples Center, an outcome that snapped a seven-game losing streak and provided nostalgia and competitive moments in a rivalry usually playing out in June.
“I enjoy this a lot more,” Scott said, grinning. “I’m a happy man tonight.”
Yet, Scott’s feeling of ecstasy could have easily vanished had the Lakers not held Boston scoreless for nearly a four-minute stretch in overtime, while both Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer and Wesley Johnson provided key baskets. Celtics guard Avery Bradley forced the game into overtime after hitting a 25-foot three-pointer as time expired, a play that could have been avoided had the Lakers intentionally fouled beforehand.
After all, the Lakers also refused to foul Milwaukee Bucks forward and former USC product O.J. Mayo three weeks ago only for him to make a corner 24-foot 3-pointer with .5 seconds left to force overtime. The Bucks won, 113-105, in extra regulation.
“That’s twice I was thinking about it and they hit a three and went into overtime,” Scott said. “I don’t know if I’ll think about it next time. I might just do it. I don’t know yet.”