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Celtics Back on Track in Win Over Clippers

Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett guard Blake Griffin. (AP Photo / Alex Gallardo)

The Clippers tried to get the better of the Celtics in L.A. once more, but with a big 3rd quarter, the Celtics beat the Clippers 99-92. Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic made their Celtics debuts, and had fairly decent ones at that. Krstic got two offensive rebounds (of his six and Boston’s 14) and the game’s first points within 36 seconds. Thanks to Blake Griffin doing his thing, the Clippers gradually built a lead for themselves. 10-6, 14-8, 20-12. After a few bouts of poor shooting, Chris Kaman hit a layup with .9 seconds left to preserve the eight-point Clippers lead, 26-18.

L.A. pushed the lead to 10, 35-25, with 8:08 left in the half. And 13 with 7:10 left. Before Paul Pierce hit two free throws, the Celtics hadn’t scored in 3:08. Those free throws sparked a seven-point run, during which the Clippers didn’t score for 2:27. But thanks to free throws and two-pointers on both sides (with the obligatory Griffin dunk), the Clippers led 47-40 at the half.

Free-throw shooting for Boston cut the lead to 49-46, and they finally forced themselves back into a lead with 7:45 left in the 3rd when Krstic hit a jumper. That was all part of a 16-2 run by Boston which gave the Celtics a 62-53 lead. Another Griffin slam and some free throws allowed the Clippers to trail just 74-68 with 12 minutes to go, but the damage was done.

Boston didn’t get a field goal in the 4th until Ray Allen’s jumper put Boston up 80-75 with 8:47 remaining (and the resulting “and 1” put them up another point). Delonte West and Paul Pierce hit threes, and Glen Davis helped out too, which allowed Boston to open up a double-digit lead, 89-77. Boston didn’t score for a 2:40 stretch, but at that point, it was Kevin Garnett’s dunk that put Boston up 94-87 with 1:58 left. Free throw shooting kept the game out of reach and settled it at the 99-92 final.

C’s Stud of the Game: Nenad Krstic

Most importantly, Krstic’s 20:58 of playing time allowed Glen Davis to get some “rest” with “just” 33:08 of time. If he’s not there, Davis undoubtedly gets very tired and the team gets dragged down. Plus, Krstic’s six offensive boards at least doubled anyone else’s total on either team. Mad props to Danny Ainge for ditching the injured Perk for this big man.

C’s Dud of the Game: Chris Johnson

He really should have stayed with the Titans and risked a lockout. In just 3:31 of playing time, Johnson didn’t attempt a single shot from the field or charity stripe. The only stats he came up with was a single rebound and -1 +/- rating. With so many centers injured, Johnson needs to do more.

Game Notes:

  • Scoring Leaders: Randy Foye (LAC 32), Paul Pierce (BOS 24), Ray Allen (BOS 22)
  • Field Goal Leaders: Randy Foye (LAC 10/20), Chris Kaman (LAC 8/12), Paul Pierce (BOS 7/14), Blake Griffin (LAC 7/14)
  • Three Point Leaders: Randy Foye (LAC 4/11), Delonte West (BOS 2/3), three others with one
  • Free Throw Leaders: Paul Pierce (BOS 11/13), Randy Foye (LAC 8/9), Ray Allen (BOS 7/7), Blake Griffin (LAC 7/8)
  • Rebound Leaders: Kevin Garnett (BOS 11), Blake Griffin (LAC 11), Chris Kaman (LAC 9)
  • Assist Leaders: Rajon Rondo (BOS 11), Randy Foye (LAC 7), Eric Bledsoe (LAC 6)
  • Steal Leaders: Ryan Gomes (LAC 3), Ray Allen (BOS 3), Eric Bledsoe (LAC 3)
  • Block Leaders: DeAndre Jordan (LAC 4), Chris Kaman (LAC 3), three others with one
  • Foul-outs: none
  • Technical Fouls: none
  • Turnovers: LAC 21, BOS 17

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2 comments for “Celtics Back on Track in Win Over Clippers”

  1. What a wonderful sight! A Boston center who gets 6 offensive rebounds, can hit a 16 foot jumper, doesn’t set a single moving pick, earns no technical fouls, and doesn’t need to dribble a ball before going up for a shot around the basket. Yeah, I’m really going to miss Perkins.

    And damn, what a shame Nate Robinson is no longer Rondo’s backup at point guard. D. West looks like he never left his Boston home. He’s going to make a huge difference.

    Posted by Ken | February 27, 2011, 10:30 am
  2. Everyone the Celtics traded away “size” — but they neglect to mention that Krstic is taller than Perk!

    The 6 offensive boards is an aberration with Krstic, but it looks like he’s tougher on the glass than I thought. I agree with your larger point, Ken!

    Posted by KC Downey | February 28, 2011, 1:12 am

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