Rapid Reaction: Clippers 92, Celtics 77
July, 22, 2012
By Greg Payne | ESPNBoston.com
LAS VEGAS -- Rapid reaction following the Boston Celtics' 92-77 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in their final game of summer league play on Sunday.
HOW THE GAME WAS LOST: Adam Morrison went off for a game-high 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting for the Clippers, while Talor Battle chipped in 17 points. The Celtics shot just 38.2 percent from the field and were outscored in each of the first three quarters, leading to a 74-58 LA edge entering the final frame. Jonathan Gibson paced the Celtics with 14 points off the bench, while Jared Sullinger put in 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, and Craig Brackins added 11 points and six boards.
C'S START HOT, FADE LATE: The Celtics started their week in Vegas with two convincing wins, but the trade the team made Thursday for free agent guard Courtney Lee robbed the summer crew of two regular contributors in E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson, along with Sean Williams. Though the club showed considerable grit in a one-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, they never seemed to reclaim the identity they began the week with following the trade. The C's dropped their final three games in Vegas, finishing with a 2-3 record, and a 6-4 mark overall for the summer.
ROOKIES CONTRIBUTE: Sullinger scored 13 points, but grabbed just one rebound, while Fab Melo came through with his most active effort since Monday's opening-game win over the Hawks. Melo finished with 6 points, 4 rebounds and 2 very loud blocks. Kris Joseph finished with 7 points on 3-of-5 shooting.
MINUTES SPREAD OUT: Celtics summer coach Tyronn Lue spread the minutes out as evenly as he could. With just more than two minutes remaining, the five starters had all played exactly 18:46, while each player off the bench had accrued exactly 18:55 of floor time, before finishing off the game. Newcomer Garrett Stutz, who joined the team on Saturday, came through with a productive 4-point, 8-rebound night as he made every effort to adjust to Boston's schemes on the fly.