It was game two of the post-Perk era for the Celtics as they looked to regroup against the LA Clippers after a tough loss to the Denver Nuggets two nights earlier. At the outset, it seemed like their emotions (and defensive effort) were still elsewhere. There was not much good to take away from the first half as they looked quite listless. Blake Griffin threw down a typical albeit spectacular one-handed slam that Big Baby could only watch in awe of, along with the rest of us.
About the only thing noteworthy was the offensive rebounding effort and overall energy of newly acquired center Nenad Krstic. Clawing and fighting for offensive boards is something the Celtics are not known for, but Krstic provided the effort setting a team season high in offensive rebounding with 6. The bigger name in the Perk trade, Jeff Green, made a decent debut scoring 7 points on 2 of 5 shooting from the field, but also showing ability by getting to the free throw line (3 of 4) by playing half (about 18) of the minutes he's used to. But collectively the C's adjusted in the second half and returned to form.
Boston out-scored LA 59-45 in the second half, triggered by their trademark defense that took a half to show up. Delonte West was a catalyst off the bench while Kevin Garnett (another double-double, 16 points, 11 rebounds), Paul Pierce (24 points) and Ray Allen (22 points) ignited the starting unit, far different from the first half. It was a win the Celtics needed to begin integrating the new guys, as well as defeating one of those "young and athletic" teams.
Although the Clippers shot 46% from the field, compared to 41% for the C's, Boston destroyed them at the free throw line, nearly doubling them in attempts (41 to 21). Coupled with out-rebounding the Clippers (43-36) the Celtics worked their way to a solid win. With the win, the C's now move to a solid 2-1 on their 4 games road trip, closing the trip out with a visit to the Utah Jazz on Monday night.