Boston 94, L.A. Clippers 89
BOSTON, Feb. 9 (Ticker) --
After another abhorrent first-half
performance, the Boston Celtics turned the tables on the Los
fell one assist shy of a triple-double and ignited
the key run in the fourth quarter that lifted the Celtics to a
94-89 triumph over the Los Angeles Clippers.
One day after yielding 78 first-half points to Milwaukee, Boston
had another sub-par opening half, surrendering 60 points en
route to an 18-point deficit at the break.
But after kick-starting the comeback with seven points in the
third quarter, Pierce started the Celtics' reversal with just
under 10 minutes remaining.
"It was a gutsy win, despite what we're going through," Pierce
said. "I'm not even going to lie to you, in the second half,
the third quarter, when they pushed up (to) 20, I was like,
'Here we go again from last night,' since we played so poorly.
I just couldn't believe we could put two games together like we
"It was nothing we fixed; it came from inside. The coaches
didn't make any adjustments. We just came out with a better
sense of urgency. ... We were letting them have their way in the
first half and in the second half, we fought back."
After Corey Maggette
gave the Clippers a 79-65 cushion with a
pair of free throws with 10:04 to go, Pierce converted a jumper
despite being fouled by the Los Angeles forward and made the
ensuing free throw with 9:44 left to begin a 16-0 burst.
scored the final five points of the spurt,
including a 3-pointer with 5:17 to play that gave Boston its
first lead of the game at 81-79.
The Celtics' comeback from a 20-point third-quarter deficit may
have been inspired by the courtside presence of Robert Kraft,
the owner of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. But
inspiration was nowhere to be found in the first half as Los
Angeles built a 20-point lead on Elton Brand's foul shot with 45
seconds to go in the second quarter.
"We come in down 18 and we're getting booed by our fans," said
Pierce, whose jumper with 21 seconds left avoided a 20-point
halftime deficit. "We know we're not playing well. It was just
a lack of effort in the first half and we picked it up in the
second half and played with a lot more energy and got the job
The Clippers, who shot 57 percent (22-of-38) from the floor in
the first half, were just 8-of-36 (22 percent) in the final two
quarters. They scored only 29 points in the second half and
dropped their third straight during a nine-game road trip.
"The fact is that (Boston) has come back on a lot of teams this
year," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We had to go out and
make sure we played tough and we had to make sure we
(rebounded). We wanted to make sure we came out with the same
type of execution in the second half. We didn't come out and do
Pierce had 25 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, falling just
short of his third triple-double of the season and fifth
career. He also matched a season high with three blocks.
had 17 points and eight boards and LaFrentz scored
16 points for the Celtics, who have won five of seven.
"As far as adjustments, we really didn't do anything different,"
LaFrentz said. "We just played with more of a sense of urgency
on the defensive end, started hitting some shots, getting some
confidence, and we carried it out."
Brand had 30 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks for Los
Angeles, which has lost seven of its last eight visits to
"They came out in the second half and played hard," said Brand,
who scored 10 points in the second half. "They held me down and
they won it."