Celtics gut out bounce-back win vs Clippers

Celtics gut out bounce-back win vs Clippers

LOS ANGELES – The final score doesn’t do justice to what we saw in Boston’s 113-102 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. 

There were stretches when the game’s momentum seemed on the verge of swinging towards the Clippers, only for Terry Rozier or Semi Ojeleye or Marcus Morris -- or any other Celtic -- to step up and make a clutch play. And that's why the team’s four-game losing skid is over.


“It was good that we battled the way we did. We needed to,” said coach Brad Stevens. “We didn’t do enough the last couple games. It was good to see that response.”

We have seen that brand of basketball from the Celtics this season, but not recently. 

So for them, the plan going forward was to deliver a throwback performance to when they gutted out wins on a night-in, night-out basis.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers was not surprised at how well Boston played despite the Celtics coming in having lost four in a row. 

“Give them credit,” said the ex-Celtics coach. “You knew they were going to come out after losing last night (to the Los Angeles Lakers) and they did just that.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 113-102 win over the Los Angeles Clippers which snapped the Celtics’ four-game losing streak while extending the Clippers losing streak to three in a row. 


Jayson Tatum: There was a level of consistent aggression in his game that the Celtics absolutely had to have if they were to win tonight. He finished with 18 points and six rebounds. 

Lou Williams: There may not be a bigger all-star snub this year than Lou Williams who has been the runaway leader for the league’s Sixth Man of the Year award. He led the Clippers with 20 points and seven assists. 


Kyrie Irving: Irving impacted the game in several categories all game long before finishing with 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. 

Celtics free throws: The streak of games with less than 20 free throws made finally comes to an end. On Wednesday, Boston was 21-for-22 from the free throw line which was the first time they made more than 20 in a game since their overtime win against Dallas on Nov. 20. The 30 games they went in making less than 20 free throws, is a franchise record. 


DeAndre Jordan: He was on a minutes restriction, but he still managed to play enough to make his presence felt at both ends of the floor. Jordan had a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds. 

Terry Rozier: Boston needed someone to lead the defensive/scoring charge off the bench with Marcus Morris starting and Marcus Smart out. Rozier was up to the challenge, scoring 15 points in just 23 minutes of action. 

Celtics rebounding: Success on the boards has meant success, period, for the Celtics this season. They were able to out-rebound the Clippers 47-40 which improved their record to 24-0 this season when they grab more rebounds than their opponent.  


Jaylen Brown: He did a lot of good things defensively, but his shot was off all night. He had nine points on 2-for-10 shooting from the field. 


Celtics transition defense: The Clippers were able to get out on the break and score at way too high a clip. Boston, one of the league’s best at limiting fast-break points, allowed Los Angeles to score 21 fast-break points which came on 7-for-12 shooting from the field.  


NBCSB Breakfast pod: How Jayson Tatum compares to Paul Pierce

NBC Sports Illustration

NBCSB Breakfast pod: How Jayson Tatum compares to Paul Pierce

1:25 - With half of the Celtics roster on the shelf, we’ve been able to see just how great a scorer Jayson Tatum can be. A. Sherrod Blakely, Mike Girardi and Trenni Kusnierek discuss how Tatum compares to Celtics legend, Paul Pierce.

5:35 - The NFL Competition Committee is giving it their best shot at modifying the ‘catch rule’ and Tom Curran, Kyle Draper and Hardy try to wrap their heads around the proposed changes.

11:02 - The Bruins clinched a playoff berth despite losing to the St. Louis Blues in overtime. Joe Haggerty joins Tom Giles to break down the game, which included another goal by Ryan Donato and a questionable call on a high hit on David Krejci.

Report: Kyrie Irving to undergo knee exam Thursday


Report: Kyrie Irving to undergo knee exam Thursday

The second opinion on Kyrie Irving’s sore left knee will be done on Thursday, according to the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett.

Irving, who has missed the last four games, is expected to decide between having a surgical procedure performed to help alleviate some of the soreness, or continue to manage it with rest.


During the 2015 NBA Finals, Irving suffered a fractured left kneecap injury which was the beginning of Irving’s left knee issues.

While Irving has had soreness of some form during various stretches of play this season, Celtics coach Brad Stevens has seen him making progress recently.

“That knee is still sore,” Stevens said. “He’s worked really hard to manage it throughout the entire season. He’s had some pretty good days recently. I’m encouraged by the big picture.”

But Stevens has made it clear that he supports Irving getting a second opinion, adding that Irving’s absence is due to the knee being too sore for him to play at a level he’s accustomed to.

“He’s out because of knee soreness, not because we’re choosing to rest him,” Stevens said. “That’s the bottom line. Again, we want him to feel 110 percent. He wants to feel 110 percent. Obviously, we’re fortunate we created a cushion early on in the year with playoffs and everything else. This is not one of those situations where we’re choosing to rest someone; it’s because he has a sore knee.”