Clippers Fall In OT, 139-134, Vs. Celtics
Score: BOS 139 – LAC 134 OT
BOSTON - Eventually, all the late heroics had to turn the other way, particularly with the minutes adding up for the Clippers’ veteran guards.
Head coach Doc Rivers credited the Clippers for their ability to pull out wins regardless of how they were playing during their four-game road trip prior to the All-Star break. It seemed that might continue in Boston after beginning the road trip 3-0, but the Celtics (32-23) brought too much offensively while the Clippers (35-18) stopped converting at the line late in a 139-134 loss.
Next Game: 2/18
Tipoff: 7:30pm PDT
It marked the first Clippers overtime defeat of the season and immediately followed the Clippers’ 98-92 overtime win in Philadelphia.
Wednesday’s game against the Celtics couldn’t have been more opposite than that victory against the Sixers.
Before the end of the third quarter, the Celtics already had more points than the Clippers had allowed their entire previous game. By the end of the third quarter, the Celtics had equaled the Clippers’ total from that Philadelphia win with 98 points.
The Clippers trailed by seven at that point after a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Chris Paul, who finished with 35 points, 13 assists and five rebounds. Paul couldn’t miss the majority of the night, nor could anyone on either team Wednesday night at TD Garden.
Head coach Doc Rivers said before the game he couldn’t keep wearing Paul out just because Austin Rivers was out, but they needed Paul, as much as it wore him down. The shots stopped falling as often late, and Paul, J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford all uncharacteristically missed overtime free throws. Each member of the trio played at least 38 minutes on the night, with Paul logging 48 minutes of action.
Paul was on all night but couldn’t hit the potential game-winner at the end of regulation following a game-tying shot from Isaiah Thomas, who finished with 36 points and 11 assists. In overtime, the Boston offense kept soaring, scoring 17 points with Evan Turner providing a sudden boost.
Redick had 27 points in the loss, while DeAndre Jordan posted 21 points and 16 rebounds.
Key Moment: Turner hit his first of seven straight points for the Celtics in overtime to tie the game up, then Jordan was whistled for offensive goaltending as he tipped in a shot for the Clippers. Turner then added an and-one, and all of a sudden the momentum was with the Celtics, who jumped ahead.
Clippers Star: Chris Paul – Paul tied a season high with 35 points, also adding 13 assists, five rebounds and three steals. Paul said his 48 minutes of action might have worn on him, but after a while, his thought process was there's no point in playing all those minutes without winning it.
Celtics Star: Isaiah Thomas – It was a battle of two point guards who couldn't miss the majority of the night. Thomas fearlessly attacked the paint, scoring 36 points and adding 11 assists while making 11 of his 12 free throws.
X-Factor: Evan Turner - He only had seven points entering overtime, then scored seven straight as he found his stroke. Turner pushed the Celtics to the victory late.
Chris Paul - “They just kept getting and-one after and-one, and we didn’t rebound well. We try to pride ourselves on defense. We didn’t defend.”
Doc Rivers - "We missed free throws. I thought it was the offensive rebounds down the stretch. I knew Brad (Stevens) was going to foul DJ on the free-throw line, and then we didn’t box out and they got the one offensive rebound and then they got two more that led to threes. I thought they deserved to win. For two great defensive teams, I don’t know what happened. The night before All-Star break, I think our defenses went on break."
Jamal Crawford - “You don’t want to make excuses, but when something like that happens, fatigue has got to be the first thing you point to. But still, we’re all good enough and professional enough that we should make (the late free throws) anyway.”
NOTES: Redick passed the 1,000 career 3-point mark … The Clippers were previously 4-0 in overtime games … Doc Rivers said during shootaround he's talked to Griffin since the announcement of his four-game suspension, and everyone's glad to have the investigation over with so the team can start to move on ... Griffin and assistant equipment manager are expected to rejoin the team shortly after the All-Star break ... The Clippers enter the break at 35-18 overall … Rivers said the Clippers "couldn't be in a better place" as a team ...