A much better effort from the guys in green tonight. Granted, it was the second night of a back-to-back, so we did see some ugly moments. But all in all, as a fan, I was much more satisfied with what I saw during tonight’s game in L.A. With the exception of the first quarter, where the Clippers jumped out to a 28-12 lead w/3:02 left, the Celtics competed pretty much through out tonight’s game.
Boston kept in close heading into halftime, mostly due to Jordan Crawford’s 14 first half points. The C’s out rebounded L.A. 24-17 in the first half and looked alert, aggressive & focused. The Clippers were up 59-54 at the half. Jared Dudley’s four three-pointers and 16 first half points made up for an otherwise “average” Clippers offense.
But it would be Blake Griffin who would take over for L.A. and almost put this game completely out of reach early in the 4th quarter. Griffin’s 29 points and barrage of dunks (and 17 free-throw attempts) would help L.A. to eventually finish Boston off. The Celts went into the final quarter only down 88-82. But after Jared Sullinger picked-up yet another flagrant one, they lost any momentum they had. Following Sullinger’s two-handed swipe over Blake Griffin’s back/neck, Jamal Crawford got hot, and all of the sudden it was 100-84 Clippers with just over 6 minutes to play. Boston kept fighting though. Avery Bradley’s steal and layup had Boston down just 109-105 with 19 seconds left. But Jerryd Bayless missed a contested layup and the Clippers escaped with a 111-105 win tonight.
The Celtics played much better, and if not for some missed free-throws & poor execution late, they very well may have stolen this game. Boston has tomorrow off and is back in action on Friday night when they play the Warriors at Oracle Arena. Tip-off is at 10:30pm EST.
- Avery Bradley and Jordan Crawford put in 24 points each tonight. Crawford was instrumental in not letting L.A. blow things open in the first half. Bradley’s steal & layup in the final seconds almost got the C’s a huge upset.
- Front court of Bass & Green combined for 29 points on 11 of 22 shooting. Duo also grabbed 16 boards.
- Boston shot 5 of 17 from downtown and missed 8 free-throws (22 of 30)
- Sully’s officially in a funk. I hope you don’t have him on your fantasy basketball team. Not sure if it’s the hand/wrist injury or what, but he’s not himself. He picked up another flagrant one tonight on a play that definitely could have been avoided-especially after just having one rescinded. Sullinger was 1 of 6 with 2 points in 11 mins. After the game, he said this to the media about the flagrant call: “It’s part of the game-I just gotta adjust…I tried to wrap him up..then I put my hands up to show them that I wasn’t trying to do anything, but uh.. I guess I gotta make another adjustment.”
The Grid: (quick stats)
- New Celtic Jerryd Bayless played 20 minutes and had 11 points, 5 assists, 2 steals & 3 rebounds.
- Clippers attempted 39 free-throws and missed 11 of them.
- Points in the paint: Celtics 52 Clippers 30