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Australian Aron Baynes scores career high

Los Angeles, Thursday @peoplesport11

The injury-riddled Boston Celtics won their 10th straight game by cruising to a 107-96 win on Wednesday over the Los Angeles Lakers in a matchup between two of the NBA’s most storied franchises.

Australia’s Aron Baynes scored a career high 21 points during the game which saw the Celtics compile a 21-point first-half lead before the Lakers closed the gap in the third. But Los Angeles allowed the Celtics to pull away again in the fourth when it mattered most.

The 30-year-old Baynes, who was born in New Zealand but grew up in Cairns, Australia, also grabbed eight rebounds and had three assists in front of a crowd of 18,600 at the Boston Garden. “We have such great creators on this team,” said Baynes, a member of the Australian national team. He added: “I just found myself in the right position. I was just trying to make the right play, and I’m trying to finish as best I could.

It’s a compliment to the other guys on the team getting me the ball in great position.” Boston’s Kyrie Irving overcame a poor shooting night to finish with 19 points, six rebounds and five assists. But the banged-up Celtics are the hottest team in the NBA for a reason.

They are getting contributions from everyone with different players stepping up each game. On Wednesday, it was Baynes’ turn along with Marcus Morris, who had 18 points, and Terry Rozier who added 14 points and eight rebounds. “Until we have only four (players) left, I guess we’re just going to keep playing. And then I don’t know what you do at four, but keep playing,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said.

“Most importantly, and I don’t want to make light, the most important (thing) is those guys get back healthy,” he said. Brandon Ingram scored 18 points for the Lakers, who were guilty of 21 turnovers. Wednesday also marked the first pro meeting between Celtics rookie and third overall pick Jayson Tatum and Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball.

But the matchup was shortened after Tatum had to leave the game because of an ankle problem. The Celtics effectively passed over Ball at the draft by trading down from the number one pick to get Tatum at number three. The Celtics knew Tatum was going to be available in that position because the Lakers planned to take Ball at number two. -AFP

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