Sunday, January 28, 2024

Clippers 115, Celtics 96: Kawhi Leonard leads all scorers to hand Boston second home loss

The Celtics fell to the Los Angeles Clippers 115-96 Saturday night, for just their second loss at TD Garden after starting 20-0.

Jayson Tatum led Boston, who shot only 36% from the field, with 21 points (8-of-18), 11 rebounds, while Payton Pritchard added 12 points and Luke Kornet chipped in 11 points off the bench.

The C's in their victory over the Clippers in Los Angeles last month, hit a season-high 25 from deep, but this time around they connected on 10-of-40 from behind the arc.
"You're never as good as you think you are, you're never as bad as you think you are," Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said.
Boston was playing without Kristaps Porzingis, due to an ankle injury suffered in the team's 143-110 blowout win against the Miami Heat Thursday.

Kawhi Leonard had a game-high 26 points on 10-of-15 from the floor to go along with seven rebounds. Former Celtic Daniel Theis finished with 18 points, Paul George netted 17 points and Terrance Mann scored 14 for Los Angeles -- which improved to 30-14 on the season.
"Yeah, guys were pretty motivated," said Clippers coach Tyronn Lue in his postgame presser. "They came to LA and beat us pretty bad. So guys were locked in. We understand it was a back-to-back. But guys were locked in. They were up for the challenge. It was a game we thought PG might be out, but he wanted to play and see where we're at. 
"Just a measuring stick against a great team."
The Celtics were down 26-21 to end the first quarter, before being held to a total of 18 points in the second and trailed 55-39 at the break -- shooting only 29% from the floor, including 4-of-23 (17%) from 3-point range for the half.

The Clippers used a 21-0 run to open the third period to take a 79-46 lead and push the margin to as many as 36, while Tatum picked up a technical foul in the span -- resulting in boos from the home crowd.
"Just [got to] have a short-term memory," said Tatum in his postgame comments. "There's nothing we can do to change it, essentially...take it on the chin, we didn't play well and they deserve to win." 
Los Angeles, playing on a second night of a back-to-back, handed the Celtics a lopsided loss while having won six straight.

Boston (35-11), meanwhile hosts the New Orleans Pelicans (26-20) Monday night in the second of a seven-game homestand.

Game Notes:

The Clippers were 44.1% from the floor and 10-of-40 from long distance while winning the rebound battle 58-52 and outscoring the home team 64-48 in the paint. Los Angeles assisted 28 times (eight turnovers) on 45 baskets and the Celtics handed out 21 dimes (11 turnovers) on 36 made shots.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of USA Today

No comments:

Post a Comment