Clippers Use Balanced Offensive Attack To Stomp Celtics 114-90
Chris Paul achieved a double-double with over two minutes remaining in the first half and finished with 13 points and 14 assists in just 26 minutes of play. DeAndre Jordan also accomplished a double-double, racking up 15 points and 13 rebounds in the Clippers’ 114-90 victory over the visiting Celtics.
“It’s great. It’s amazing,” Paul (pictured) said. “Not only do we get a chance to rest, it’s all about everybody getting into a rhythm and a flow. We have to make sure everybody has that as we get ready to play in the playoffs.”
It was far from just a two man show in Lob City that led the Clips to victory though, all 13 players that entered the game, scored for Los Angeles. Paul and Jordan may have been the only starters to score in double figures, but there were four players off the bench that scored at least 10 points: Austin Rivers scored 16, Jamal Crawford added 15, Wesley Johnson provided 11, and Jeff Green chipped in with 10 to lead a bench that scored 67 points.
The Clippers shot 52% from the field and 44% from the three point arc. They also had 29 assists on their 44 made field goals. “I think our ball movement was what it was,” Paul said. “[Clippers’ coach] Doc has a way of coming in the day after a game and telling us how many passes we made in the game. I’m sure tomorrow will be another one of those days when he tells us we made a lot of passes.”
Celtics’ coach Brad Stevens was also impressed with how his opposition played the game, “I thought (the Clippers) deserved a lot of credit for the way they made shots, the way they made plays,” he said. “And then any time we got close we didn’t play with any composure to back over the hump.”
The closest Boston got was when they cut Los Angeles’ lead to 30-26 early in the second quarter before the Clippers exploded for a 22-8 run over roughly six minutes, capped off by a Rivers three.
Boston shot an abysmal 34.8% from the floor and lacked to pose any real shooting threat outside of Marcus Smart, who scored 13 points off the bench on 6-12 shooting, and Avery Bradley, who made 3 three pointers in route to his 13 points.
Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 24 points, but was not a consistent option from the floor, shooting just 5-14, he was able to put points on the board by hitting 12 of his 13 free throws.
With the loss, not only did Boston see their four game winning streak snapped, but according to ESPN’s Chris Forsberg, they are now 21-22 against teams with a winning record this season. The Celtics are smack in the middle of a four team race for third place in the Eastern Conference with the red hot Hawks and Hornets, plus the Heat, who have also played well recently. Boston will need to step their game up to keep their place or if they want to make a late season ascension in the standings. They will look to get back on track Thursday night when they travel to Portland to take on Damian Lillard and the Trailblazers at 10:30 PM EST.
The Clippers’ victory tightened their grip on the fourth seed in the West. Los Angeles is virtually locked into the spot as they trail the Oklahoma City Thunder by 5.5 games with just 8 games remaining for OKC and 9 for the Clippers. Los Angeles also increased their lead over fifth seeded Memphis, which lost for the third straight game and trails the Clippers by 5.5 games. Their next game will be tomorrow night at 8:00 PM EST in Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves.