Boston’s Jayson Tatum goes up to shoot against LeBron James, left, of Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of Friday’s game in Boston. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

BOSTON — Jayson Tatum scored 37 points and the Boston Celtics beat Los Angeles 130-108 on Friday night in LeBron James’ return to the Lakers’ lineup.

Marcus Smart had 22 points and Dennis Schroder 21 for Boston (8-8), which climbed back to .500. Tatum had 11 rebounds and Al Horford added 18 points.

Anthony Davis led Los Angeles with 31 points and James finished with 23 in 32 minutes. They each had six rebounds and two assists.

James had missed eight games with an abdominal strain, and the Lakers went 3-5 while he was sidelined. They’ve lost their last four road games.

The teams who have accounted for nearly half of the NBA’s championships with 17 apiece renewed their rivalry in front of a raucous TD Garden crowd that made it seem like a playoff atmosphere from the opening tip.

Hall of Famer Bill Russell – introduced as a “true Celtics legend” when he was welcomed back by the PA announcer and shown on the Jumbotron midway into the opening quarter – was seated courtside wearing a hat with the initials “KB” encircled in a yellow heart on the front for the late Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

The Celtics led by 11 points entering the final quarter and opened a 109-94 lead on Tatum’s three-point play with 6:59 remaining. His 3-pointer from the left corner increased it to 116-99 with 5:02 to go.

The Lakers made nine of their initial 12 shots en route to a 38-30 lead after one quarter.

James’ first basket came on a thundering dunk off a drive down the lane 2 ½ minutes into the game.

Boston erased a 14-point deficit in the second quarter and took the lead before James’ fast-break layup gave the Lakers a 61-60 halftime edge.

The Celtics opened the second half with a 14-4 surge and led 93-82 entering the fourth.

NOTES: Asked before the game what the Lakers missed without James, Coach Frank Vogel said: “Just quarterbacking it, and leading and running the team.” … It was their second of a five-game road trip. … Boston Coach Ime Udoka said Jaylen Brown is “close” to returning and “really wanted to play” on Friday. The team’s leading scorer at 26.5 points per game missed his seventh straight with a right hamstring injury. … Center Robert Williams III missed his second straight with a left knee injury. … Paul Pierce, who went into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this year, was also courtside along with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and a few Pats players.


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