Let me get “The Gross” out of the way early. The Celtics bench made just two baskets and scored four points tonight, leaving the starters to do all of the scoring. Amazingly, the team still managed 88 points. Too bad the Clippers had 96.
The Celtics led by 9 late in the second quarter, and by 6 at the half, but the third quarter belonged to the Clippers (they outscored the C’s 27-19 in the quarter). The Clippers looked like they were going to run away with thing a couple of times in the fourth, but the Celtics clawed back and cut it to just 2 with 3:33 to play. But a pair of Jamal Crawford 3’s quickly pushed it out to 8, and that was basically it for the Celtics.
The Celtics never gave up, which is nice, but they also didn’t play very well for long stretches. The C’s stood around a lot for too many plays. At one point late in the game, Jordan Crawford was so intent on taking his man 1-on-1 that he held the ball for a solid 6 to 8 seconds. As he did that, Jeff Green stood at the top of the key waving his arm like a 3rd base coach sending a runner home.
It’s tough to expect the Celtics to beat a good Western Conference team like the Clippers, but they made a lot of mistakes on their own tonight.
Brandon Bass had really nice first half. He had 15 points on 6-8 shooting, 8 rebounds, and some really good D on Blake Griffin. His second half, though, was less impressive (2 pts on 0-4 fg, 4 reb).
Jordan Crawford had a decent game with 20 points & 9 assists. Again, he had some great stretches, but he had some where he was too much of the “old” Jordan.
The Celtics first half defense was really good, giving up only 39 points and holding the Clippers to 40% shooting.
Have I mentioned the bench? 0-3 with zero first half points. 2-4 for 4 points in the second half. Any kind of bench contribution could have won this game for Boston.
Gotta believe Lee wanted to play well against Rivers after not playing much in the playoffs last year, but he had his worst game of year.
— Bill Doyle (@BillDoyle15) December 12, 2013
Avery Bradley had a tough night on offense. Those hot Celtics starts were very often fueled by Avery Bradley’s hot starts. When he got cold, so did the C’s at the beginnings of games.
Jared Sullinger was 5-13 from the field. It’s not easy going up against DeAndre Jordan, who’s a good 4 inches taller than Sully and has pogo sticks for legs.
The play of the year right here:
Avery Bradley with the 1-handed alley oop finish
Doc Rivers video tribute
Doc arrives to a standing ovation
Jordan Crawford with the crossover and then pass to Bass for the dunk
DeAndre Jordan wedges an alley oop
- Points in the paint: LAC: 42 – BOS: 24
- Jamal Crawford in the 4th quarter: 11 points (4-6 fg, 2-2 3pt), 2 reb.
- Jamal Crawford totals: 21 points (7-14 fg, 2-2 3pt), 3 reb, 3 ast.
- Jared Sullinger: 0-3 from 3
- Jeff Green: 29 points (10-23 fg, 3-7 3pt), 4 reb, 1 ast.
- Jordan Crawford: 20 points (7-17 fg, 1-4 3pt), 9 ast, 5 reb.
Doc: “People don’t get Boston. You have to be part of it to get it. It’s a special place. The best decision I ever made was 10 years ago.”
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 12, 2013
The Celtics did not win tonight, but we are all winners now that this game is over… because after tomorrow, we can be done with the Doc Rivers returning to Boston angle. All the questions have been asked… all of the questions about how he’d be received were answered tonight… it’s over. The Boston writers will write their final pieces on it tonight, we’ll read about it in the morning, and that’s it… we’re done.