Keys to the Game
Avery Bradley returned to the Celtics lineup on Monday, but the Celtics struggled to get stops when they needed them against Jamal Crawford in the second half.
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty

Keys to the Game: Clippers 116, Celtics 102

Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

The Celtics were cruising along midway through the third quarter of this game, once holding a 13-point lead, but the Clippers came alive with the help of Jamal Crawford (19 points), who checked in off the bench to start dominating the game. Crawford single-handedly sparked an 11-0 run to close the third quarter, and continued to pour it on as the fourth quarter began.

Crawford’s long-range shooting (he knocked down three 3-pointers in this stretch) and free-wheeling style had the Celtics scrambling on defense. Crawford basically took the game over for a 10-minute stretch and reinvigorated the Clippers with his energy.

When the Celtics tried to rally late in the fourth, Crawford came up with a 4-point play (3-pointer and a foul) to give the Clippers a 105-89 lead and effectively put the Celtics away.

The Celtics, not to be knocked out early, cranked up the defensive intensity in the final minutes, but had dug themselves a hole to deep from which to climb out when they fell behind by 18 points with 3:33 to play.

Key Player

Isaiah Thomas dropped 32 points on the night, and attacked the basket all night, but even with his efforts to carry the load, the Celtics got little else from anyone not named Marcus Smart (21 points) or Avery Bradley (14 points).

Thomas was very effective in getting to the basket despite guys like Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan trying to engulf him at the rim. Overall, the Celtics point guard bounced back nicely from his mishap Sunday night in Phoenix where he missed a critical free throw in the final seconds, then turned over the ball leading to the Suns’ game-winner at the buzzer.

Meanwhile, the C’s were shorthanded again Monday night, as Al Horford (elbow) missed his second straight game and Jonas Jerebko (flu) was a late scratch.

Box Score Nuggets

  • DeAndre Jordan was hacked intentionally at times, and he missed 13 free throws by himself.
  • As a team, the Clippers missed 18 of their 47 free throws.
  • Jamal Crawford scored 19 points in just over 29 minutes.
  • Isaiah Thomas scored 10 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter.
  • Kelly Olynyk grabbed four offensive rebounds.
  • Jaylen Brown (8 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists) did not register a single zero in the box score.
  • Former Celtic Paul Pierce did not play, but he did get a video tribute from the Clippers on the jumbotron at Staples Center.
  • If you include bricked free throws, DeAndre Jordan had a triple double. He missed 13 at the line, but scored 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
  • Neither Tyler Zeller nor Jordan Mickey attempted a field goal.
  • Jae Crowder hit just one of his seven 3-point attempts, but he grabbed eight rebounds.

Quote of the Night

He made some tremendous shots. That's what he does.

Brad Stevens on Jamal Crawford's big game in the second half.

Key Player

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