LeBron James ELBOWS Kyrie Irving in the face during Lakers vs Celtics game | Other | Sport

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Boston were taking on a Lakers team beset by injuries with both Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram recently ruled out for the remainder of the season while Kyle Kuzma was also unavailable.

The last time the two sides met, the Celtics were on a poor run of form with team chemistry issues hitting the headline and the Lakers grabbing a shock win.

But the Celtics have since turned a corner, culminating in a huge win over reigning champions Golden State Warriors.

And leading the charge for Boston’s good form has been Irving’s change of attitude.

The six-time All-Star is suddenly looking like he is enjoying playing basketball with this Boston team.

And that his showing in his performances, shooting efficiently from the floor while also making a vast improvement on the defensive end.

But that defensive effort almost came at a cost against the Lakers when he matched up against his former team-mate James

The Lakers star drove past Al Horford into the lane to find Irving there ready to take the charge.

James, in an attempt to get past Irving, lifted his elbow up and connected with his opponent’s face, sending the Celtics star to the deck.

Irving needed a moment on the floor to regather himself, but fortunately no damage was done.

The Celtics ended up grabbing the win with Irving putting in another 30-point performance shooting 66.7 per cent from the floor.

LeBron James meanwhile recorded a triple-double with Moritz Wagner scoring 22 points on his first career start for the Lakers.



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