First impressions: Celtics 95, Clippers 89

January, 25, 2010
1/25/10
10:13
PM ET


BOSTON -- Instant reaction after the Boston Celtics posted a 95-89 triumph over the Los Angeles Clippers Monday night at the TD Garden:

How the game was won: Paul Pierce registered a team-high 22 points, while Rajon Rondo logged a double-double (16 points, 12 assists) as the Celtics fended off a late charge from the Clippers. Boston limited Los Angeles to 38.8 percent shooting (31 of 80 overall) from the field, but still had to rally from a small halftime deficit. Rasual Butler paced the Clippers with 17 points in a game-high 44 minutes.

Turning point: The Celtics led by five coming out of the third quarter and Rasheed Wallace buried a 3-pointer on the first trip down. Tony Allen followed soon after with a pair of layups as Boston's lead ballooned to double digits at 71-61 and the Clippers never rallied closer than four the rest of the way.

Stat of the game: The Celtics connected on 23 of 34 free-throw attempts, but struggled mightily at the charity stripe early in the game. Pierce might have saved the Celtics and their free-throw percentage, by connecting on all 11 free throws he attempted.

Unsung hero: The starting 5 carried the Celtics on a night their bench combined for a mere 16 points on 7 of 20 shooting.

What it means:The Celtics put together back-to-back wins for the first time since the start of the month (Jan. 2 vs. Toronto and Jan. 6 vs. Miami) and enter a challenging stretch with a bit of momentum fueled by the return of Kevin Garnett. Boston travels for a back-to-back later this week in Orlando and Atlanta, before returning home for a nationally televised Sunday showdown with Los Angeles' other basketball squad.

Related reading: Box Score | Play by Play

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

PODCASTS

Tedy Bruschi, NFL

ESPN NFL analyst Tedy Bruschi weighs in on Rex Ryan's future, the outlook for the Jets, whether Tom Brady will end his career with the Patriots and J.J. Watt's value.

ESPN Boston HS Football Week 7 Preview

The ESPN Boston High School football crew previews Week 7 of the Massachusetts HS football season.

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksB. Bass 0.9