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As trade deadline approaches, Celtics get blown out by Lakers

02.21.13 at 1:14 am ET
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The Celtics gave up 36 first-quarter points to the Lakers, and their defense remained porous for the rest of the night in a 113-99 loss in Los Angeles. The defeat, which came with just over 12 hours left until the NBA trade deadline, was the second in as many games at the start of a five-game trip against Western Conference teams.

Dwight Howard was dominant in the post for the Lakers, hitting 10-of-13 shots en route to 24 points and 12 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass. Howard and Earl Clark (14 points, 15 rebounds) gave Los Angeles a huge advantage on the boards, with a 48-34 advantage on the glass. Seven Lakers finished the night in double figures in a well-balanced attack that consistently found clear lanes to the bucket against the Celtics.

In defeat, Paul Pierce — at a time when he’s been subject to trade rumors — scored 26 points with four rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes. Courtney Lee added 20 points.

The Celtics now have two days to regroup before they face the Suns in Phoenix. Given the uncertainty inherent in the hours leading up to the trade deadline, it remains to be seen what the composition of the team will be when it next takes the floor.

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