LOS ANGELES, Dec. 31 (Ticker) -- After a difficult month, the Boston Celtics made sure they finished 2005 on a good note.

Ricky Davis scored 20 points and Paul Pierce added 19 as the Celtics snapped their three-game slide with a 111-92 triumph over the slumping Los Angeles Clippers, who have dropped seven of their last nine contests.

NBA TV highlights from
"We got that monkey off our back, we won this and if we play like we did tonight we'll win again," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "I thought everyone played well."

Boston had struggled in the month of December, finishing with a 6-9 record and recording only two road wins overall before tonight. With the victory, the Celtics improved to 1-3 on their current five-game West Coast swing.

"We don't want to get over-excited with just one win," said Pierce, who made 8-of-12 shots. "We are just trying to be consistent. We have to sustain a group of wins and then I'll be able to say we are successful."

Boston led, 42-35, in the second quarter and extended its lead with an 8-0 run as Pierce scored four points during the stretch. The Celtics held a 64-46 advantage at intermission after outscoring the Clippers, 33-15, in the second.

"Our defense was good but I thought our energy was the key to the game," Rivers said. "We also wanted to focus on just giving them one shot at the basket and I thought we did a good job of that."

"(In the) second quarter, defensively, we were terrible," Los Angeles coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We made a lot of mistakes and the scoreboard showed it."

The Clippers made a late surge to get within 91-81 on Cuttino Mobley's jumper with 9:00 remaining, but Boston scored the next six points to create some breathing room.

"The second half, we came out and did a better job with our coverages, but they have some players who can just knock down shots," Dunleavy said.

Los Angeles received little help from its bench as it was outscored by the Celtics' reserves, 38-8.

"I knew this was going to be an energy game and Raef (LaFrentz) and Marcus (Banks) came off the bench and gave us some great relief," Rivers said.

Banks scored 14 points and Al Jefferson and LaFrentz added 13 for the Celtics, who shot 56 percent (47-of-83) from the field and collected six blocked shots.

"When we come into the game we have to come with energy and have focus," LaFrentz said. "Tonight, we had good runs with a good group on the floor which helped us pull out to a lead in the second quarter."

"A lot of guys were big for us tonight and we kept our turnovers down," Pierce said. "We wanted to end 2005 with a win that's what we did."

Mobley scored 27 points and Sam Cassell added 24 for the Clippers, who made 37-of-80 shots (46 percent) and 14-of-19 free throws.

"It's not going to get any easier with the schedule that way it is," said Cassell, who made 8-of-12 shots. Leading scorer Elton Brand had a silent game with 11 points on 5-of-16 shooting.

"We started but then fell into a lull in the second quarter with our defense," said Brand, who committed six turnovers. "We just kept giving up too many layups throughout that period."

After a four-game winning streak to start the month had Los Angeles (16-12) atop the Pacific Division, it has dropped seven of nine games and sits 2 1/2 games behind Phoenix entering January.