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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics preview: Odds, predictions, injuries, how to watch

The two most successful teams in the history of the NBA meet on Thursday when the Los Angeles Lakers make the trip to Boston Celtics.

These teams are tied for the all-time record for NBA Championships with 17 each, while the Lakers have already picked up a title this season by landing the inaugural edition of the In-Season Tournament.

The Celtics appear the more likely of the two to take the main prize this year, however, as they lead the way in the Eastern Conference. The Lakers are in the play-in spots in the West but they head to Boston after back-to-back defeats.

Lakers vs. Celtics Odds

Boston Celtics -1200 ML
Los Angeles Lakers+750 ML
SpreadCeltics -14.0
Total PointsO/U 242.0

Lakers vs. Celtics Information

WhereTD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
When7:30 PM ET, Thursday, February 1
How to watchTNT

Lakers vs. Celtics Predictions

Boston Celtics -14.0

This is the 300th regular season meeting between these two historic NBA rivals but there is a good chance the occasion will be marred by some notable absentees for the visitors.

The Lakers seem set to be without Anthony Davis, and LeBron James is a major doubt as well. It is hard to see them being particularly competitive if either misses out - and if both are absent this could be an incredibly one-sided affair.

The Lakers are coming into the game after a blowout defeat against an average Atlanta Hawks team and prior to that they lost by 16 points to the Houston Rockets. They have allowed at least 127 points in each of their last five games and look disjointed defensively right now, and the Celtics can take advantage.

Boston has the best home record in the league, the second best offensive rating and they won by 11 points when these teams met in LA back in December. The visitors will be big underdogs even if Davis and James are available, so take Boston to cover a -10.5 handicap in the spread.

Kristaps Porzingis over 19.5 points -115

Boston look light at center with bench players Al Horford and Luke Kornet carrying injuries, so starter Kristaps Porzingis should get plenty of game time.

The Latvian is averaging a solid 19.4 points-per-game for the season and he finished with 28 when these teams met in LA earlier in the season.

Porzingis had a poor shooting night against the Indiana Pacers last time out but still finished with 17 points and he has managed at least 21 in two of his last four games, so he should be able to record at least 20 against an understrength Lakers lineup.

Jayson Tatum over 5.5 assists +125

Jayson Tatum is averaging 4.5 assists per-game this season and the big price on Boston’s superstar recording at least six is appealing ahead of Thursday’s game.

Tatum finished with seven dimes in the win over Indiana last time out and had eight against the New Orleans Pelicans prior to that victory, giving him 15 in total across his last two games.

Tatum also had seven when Boston last played the Lakers and has recorded six or more in two of the last three meetings, so over 5.5 assists looks achievable for the 25-year-old.

Boston Celtics injury report

Al Horford will miss a second consecutive game with a neck injury and fellow center Luke Kornet is rated as questionable with a hamstring issue that has seen him miss the last two games.

Los Angeles Lakers injury report

The Lakers will be without star duo LeBron James and Anthony Davis for this showpiece game as both are rated as questionable. Davis also sat out last night's 138-122 blowout loss to the Atlanta Hawks due to Achilles and hip issues, while James has an ankle problem. 

The visitors will also be without guard Gabe Vincent and forward Cam Reddish due to respective knee and ankle issues. 

Lakers vs. Celtics stats

The Lakers concede 117.6 points per game this season and have allowed at least 127 in each of their last five games.

The Celtics have the second best offensive rating in the league and the second best defensive rating.

Boston won 126-115 when these teams met in LA in December in their only previous meeting this season.

Head-to-Head

Boston Celtics166 wins
Los Angeles Lakers133 wins

Odds mentioned in this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.

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