Ford Keys to the Game: Celtics 106, Clippers 104

Celtics 106, Clippers 104
By Marc D'Amico, February 3, 2013

Key Moment

There is no doubt about what the Key Moment was in Boston’s 106-104 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. Paul Pierce owned that moment.

With the Celtics leading by two points in the final 30 seconds of regulation, Doc Rivers put the game in Pierce’s hands. That turned out to be one heck of a decision because Pierce came through with a 3-pointer over Matt Barnes with 2.5 seconds left to seal Boston's win.

This play was an isolation for Pierce from start to finish. No picks. No motion. Strictly isolation. Pierce allowed the clock to tick down to less than eight seconds before he made his move on Barnes. After a few dribbles and a jab step, it was time to fire up the shot.

Pierce used his jab step to shift his weight backward and behind the 3-point line. He created just enough space to get a clean look at the basket and sank the 3-pointer over Barnes to put the Celtics on top 106-101.

The big-time jumper was eerily reminiscent of the one Pierce hit to down the Knicks on Jan. 7 in New York. He used nearly the exact same move from the exact location and then hit a deep jumper to put that game on ice as well.

That's twice in less than a month that Boston has placed the game in the Captain's hands. He made sure to come through in the clutch on both occasions by drilling a deep jumper from the left wing.

Key Box Score Line

Paul Pierce must have eaten some Wheaties at halftime. His performance in the second half was good enough to outperform nearly every other player’s full-game totals on Sunday afternoon.

Pierce totaled 11 points, four rebounds and two assists in the third quarter alone. He accrued those numbers while playing the entire period. He played seven minutes of the fourth quarter that helped him bump his second-half scoring total up to 15 points. Pierce didn’t play as well in the fourth quarter, but he did can a 3-pointer that secured the victory for the C’s.

The final numbers for Pierce included a team-high 22 points to go along with five rebounds, four assists and two steals. He made seven of his 16 shots and was on fire from downtown, where he canned four of his six attempts.

Box Score Nuggets

  • For the second consecutive game, the Celtics made exactly half of their shots (36-of-72).
  • The Celtics players who made less than half of their shots were Brandon Bass, Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee.
  • The Celtics grabbed only 29 rebounds in the game.
  • Los Angeles actually shot better from the field (50.6 percent) than the Celtics but couldn't overcome 21 turnovers.
  • Two Clippers, Jamal Crawford and Eric Bledsoe, tied for the game high in scoring with 23 points apiece.
  • Blake Griffin notched a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
  • Jason Terry finished the game with a plus-17 in the plus/minus category.
  • There was only one lead change in the entire game.
  • Jason Collins shot 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. The last time he made five free throws in a game was on Jan. 25, 2007, when he also shot 5-for-5 against the Clippers.
  • Los Angeles scored 54 points in the paint.
  • Jason Terry led the Celtics with six assists.
  • Bledsoe had a double-double with his 23 points and 10 assists.
  • Leandro Barbosa and Jeff Green each scored 14 points off of the bench for the C's.

Quote of the Night

They had us on our heels. They were the aggressors and that’s what we do to teams when we are the most successful. They did that tonight.
The Clippers' Jamal Crawford on how the Celtics played on Sunday

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