The Boston Celtics suffered their worst loss of the season Thursday night in Los Angeles when they fell 103-77 to the streaking Clippers. L.A. won its 15th consecutive game and advanced its record to an NBA-best 23-6.
Thursday night’s game got out of hand in the final quarter but this was a comfortable game for the Clippers from start to finish. The Clips opened up a 15-point lead in the first quarter while outshooting the Celtics by 15.4 percent from the floor. However, as every team does, the Celtics made a run and made it a game again, albeit for a short period of time.
Boston used a 10-2 run to cut Los Angeles’ lead all the way down to four points early in the second quarter. The run began when Kevin Garnett beat the buzzer with a jumper at the end of the first quarter, and then it continued in the second period when Jason Terry and Courtney Lee each hit 3s and Jeff Green put home a layup.
Lee’s 3-pointer nearly turned this one into a one-possession game, but that was the closest the C’s would get on this night. The Clippers responded immediately by popping the lead back up to 12 points in a span of just one minute and 24 seconds.
Jamal Crawford and Lamar Odom teamed up to set L.A. straight on its next two possessions. Odom assisted Crawford on two consecutive buckets in the paint. Eric Bledsoe then threw down a dunk after he picked off a pass by Jeff Green and Matt Barnes scored on a transition layup on the Clippers’ next possession.
It didn’t take long for Los Angeles to tell Boston that this game wasn’t meant to be close. It opened up a big lead early on, let it dwindle for a brief moment, but then chugged along to another convincing victory.
Key Box Score Line
If we could give the Key Box Score line to the entire Clippers bench, we would. Since we can’t, we’ll just give it to Los Angeles’ best player Thursday night: Matt Barnes.
Barnes came off of the bench to score a game-high 21 points thanks to a 7-of-13 shooting performance. He canned five of his nine 3-pointers while also grabbing two steals and blocking a shot.
There wasn’t much in Barnes’ box score other than scoring, but there didn’t need to be. He, along with Jamal Crawford (17 points), provided the scoring punch off of the bench that Los Angeles has been receiving throughout the month of December. The Celtics had hoped to end that trend Thursday night, but Barnes made sure they didn’t.
Box Score Nuggets
- Los Angeles made 12 of its 30 3-point attempts.
- Rajon Rondo and Jason Terry were the only starters in the game to play more than 30 minutes.
- Jarvis Varnado made his first appearance as a Celtic, scoring one point and grabbing one rebound in 6:33 of playing time.
- Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting.
- Matt Barnes (21 points) and Jamal Crawford (17 points) combined for 38 points off of the bench for Los Angeles.
- The Celtics committed 18 turnovers compared to just eight by the Clippers.
- Chris Paul dished out a game-high 11 assists.
- The Celtics never led in the game and there was only one tie. Los Angeles' largest lead was 32 points.
- Eric Bledsoe grabbed a game-high six steals, which was one more than the entire Celtics team accounted for.
- None of the game's starters grabbed more than eight rebounds. Lamar Odom's 13 boards were a game high.
- All of the Clippers' starters made either three or six field goals.
- Brandon Bass came off of Boston's bench to grab a team-high nine boards.
Quote of the Night
We always play the same defense for the most part, and I just thought we were out thinking ourselves tonight. An athlete in thought is a non-athlete. Doc Rivers on his team's defensive performance