Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Clippers 96, Celtics 88
By Chris Forsberg
BOSTON -- Rapid reaction after the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Boston Celtics 96-88 Wednesday night at TD Garden:
Chris Paul flirted with a triple-double (team-high 22 points, nine assists, seven rebounds), and Jamal Crawford made big shots off the bench to chip in 21 points as former coach Doc Rivers and the Clippers handed Boston its second straight loss. Jeff Green scored a game-high 29 points on 10-of-23 shooting for the Celtics, while Brandon Bass added a double-double (17 points, 12 rebounds) and Jared Sullinger nearly did the same (10 points, 9 rebounds). Jordan Crawford had 20 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds over 39 minutes.
Jamal Crawford hit back-to-back 3-pointers with little more than two minutes to go, turning a one-possession game into an eight-point Clippers lead and, in the span of 24 seconds, the Clippers had sealed a gritty victory. Jamal Crawford's first triple was a 29-foot straightaway bomb in a late-clock situation. Jared Dudley blocked Jordan Crawford at the other end, then provided the assist on a Jamal Crawford wing 3-pointer for a 91-83 lead with 2:10 to go.
C'S HONOR RIVERS WITH VIDEO
Hop HERE to watch the tribute video that ran after the first quarter celebrating Doc Rivers' nine seasons as coach of the Celtics.
Playing the alley-oop-happy Clippers, Boston beat the visitors at their own game with Avery Bradley going with a one-handed slam off a lob from Jordan Crawford early in the first quarter. Lob City got it going later (even after DeAndre Jordan had a humorous moment when his emphatic dunk attempt left the ball wedged between the side of the rim and the glass, leading to a jump ball). Jordan finished with just five points and six rebounds; Blake Griffin had 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
BROOKS GETS A CHANCE
In an offensively anemic second half, oft-unused swingman MarShon Brooks got the call from Brad Stevens. Boston had only two points in bench scoring through the game's first 40 minutes, but Brooks made a layup with 7:35 to go to make it a one-possession game. He played only four minutes and gave way to the starters down the stretch.
Courtney Lee fouled out in just 14:42 of action. He was scoreless (0-for-2 shooting) with two rebounds, two assists and two turnovers. His block from behind on Jamal Crawford did fuel one of Boston's highlight sequences that ended with Green throwing down a monster dunk. ... Kris Humphries (sore right knee) sat out Wednesday's game, while Kelly Olynyk missed his 10th straight game with a sprained right ankle. ... Keith Bogans was a healthy DNP.
WHAT IT MEANS
Boston drops both nights of its Reunion Week to fall to 10-14 overall and now owns just a one-game lead over the Toronto Raptors in the Atlantic Division. The Celtics will take Thursday off coming off this back-to-back, then host the New York Knicks (they of Sunday's 41-point demolition) on Friday night. Boston plays six of its final seven games of the calendar year at TD Garden, traveling only to Indiana on Dec. 22 for a tilt with the Pacers that precedes a five-day holiday break.