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LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The short-handed Boston Celtics avenged last week’s loss to the previously undefeated Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers spoiled the perfect record of the high-flying Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.
The Celtics blew a 16-point fourth quarter lead but managed to hold on for a 107-100 win in an early season rematch, while the Hawks suffered a shock loss to the lowly Lakers 123-116 after dominating in their first three contests of the season.
Not only did the Celtics blow the big lead but they were missing two of their starters Wednesday in Al Horford and Jae Crowder.
‘‘We got a lot of good players that can step in at any time,’’ Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas said. ‘‘I think that’s our strength, our depth, and we’re just going to keep going.’’
Horford is sidelined because of a concussion, and they lost Crowder to a sprained ankle in the second quarter. The Celtics aren’t forgetting that Kelly Olynyk is still out following shoulder surgery.