LOS ANGELES: The Boston Celtics handed what LeBron James called a “butt-whipping” to his Los Angeles Lakers in their worst defeat of the NBA season on Monday (Tuesday in Manila), routing the Western Conference leaders 139-107.
Jayson Tatum scored 27 points, and Kemba Walker returned from injury to add 20 for the Celtics, who snapped a three-game skid with the upset triumph.
Enes Kanter came off the bench to score 18 points and pull down 11 rebounds for the Celtics, who had lost six of their past eight games.
“Listen, it was just a good, old-fashioned butt-whipping, that’s all,” said James, who scored 15 points and handed out 18 assists for the Lakers — who had won 10 of their last 11.
The Celtics spoiled the return from injury of Anthony Davis, who missed five games with a bruised backside after an in-game fall.
For Walker, it was a first career win against James. He’d gone 0-28 in prior games against James-led teams.
Philadelphia’s star guard Ben Simmons matched his career high with 34 points and added 12 rebounds and 12 assists in a triple-double that propelled the 76ers to a 117-111 victory over the Nets in Brooklyn.
Eastern Conference leaders Milwaukee improved their league-leading record to 39-6 with a 111-98 victory over the Chicago Bulls.
The Miami Heat needed overtime to stay in second place in the East, rallying from an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit to triumph 118-113.
Houston’s Russell Westbrook notched another iconic triple-double moment, but his 32-point, 11-rebound, 12-assist performance for the Rockets wasn’t enough in a 112-107 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Portland Trail Blazers wrapped up the NBA’s Martin Luther King Day celebrations with a 129-124 overtime victory over the Golden State Warriors.