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Coming off a huge win on the road against the Orlando Magic, the Boston Celtics would have never had imagined that they would fall to the lack-luster Los Angeles Clippers just two nights later. The Celtics had the game in their possession with less than a minute left, but when the Clippers tied it and then fouled Rajon Rondo, the game was over.
Speculating whether or not Rondo should miss the second free throw with just over a second left in the game, Celtic commentators Donny Marshall and Mike Gorman never expected him to miss both. After Rondo missed both free throws, the Clippers got the rebound and quickly called timeout with exactly one (1.0) second left on the clock.
Marshall and Gorman then discussed how Baron Davis has taken and made a couple of game-winning shots to beat the Celtics in the past…didn’t the Celtics know that as well? Well with Rondo defending Davis and the score tied at 90 apiece, the inbound pass went right to Davis, who released the ball with 0.1 seconds left and hit nothing but net. The Clippers outscored the Celtics 23-17 in the final quarter for the 92-90 win while snapping a three-game losing streak.
The loss dropped the Celtics to 23-6 on the year and 13-2 on the road. The Clippers improved to 13-17 on the season and an even 8-8 at home.
Boston was led by Rondo with 20 points (9-for-16 shooting) and six assists. Rondo has stepped up his scoring since Paul Pierce has been out with a knee injury, but he still struggled from the free-throw line as he went 2-for-5 and missed the two game-winners.
Also helping out for Boston were Ray Allen with 13 points (6-for-12 shooting) and five assists, Kevin Garnett with 12 points (5-for-13 shooting) and eight rebounds, and Tony Allen with 10 points (4-for-10 shooting) and 10 rebounds. T.A. continued to start in place of the injured Pierce.
For the Clippers, they were led by Kaman with 27 points (12-for-21) and 12 rebounds. Kaman came up big down the stretch as he was able to knock down key baskets to keep the game close. Also helping out was Davis. Not only did he have the game-winner, but he also had 24 points (7-for-11), 13 assists, and three steals.
Eric Gordon, the second-year player out of Indiana, had 15 points off 4-for-13 shooting but was pretty much a non-factor at the end of the game. Fellow sophomore Jordan had six points and eight rebounds for the Clippers but he missed key free-throws at the end of the game and went 0-for-4 from the line.
Off LA’s bench was Rasual Butler, who finished with eight points and a very big 3-point shot to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. Former BC standout Craig Smith chipped in six points and three rebounds for himself.
The Celtics don’t have much time to think about the loss as they will travel upstate to play the Golden State Warriors Monday night. The Warriors are in some sort of a mess as their record now stands at 8-21 on the season, but they are coming off a big win over the Phoenix Suns 132-127. The Warriors can score so the Celtics better stay tough on defense if they want to overtake a team that has nothing to lose in this game.
For the game, the Clippers actually shot better than the Celtics as they shot 50.7% and the Celts shot 47.0%. Boston struggled from beyond the arc as they only made 1-of-12 shots, while Los Angeles made 4-of-10.
The rebounding for both teams was fairly equal as the Celtics had 37 (12 offensive) and the Clippers had 33 (four offensive). The Clippers led in assists with 25 but the Celtics had 21. Boston led the game with nine steals compared to LA’s five and both teams were tied with five blocks apiece.