Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Celtics avenge earlier loss against Clippers.

Last time these two teams met, the Clippers blew out Boston. This time? Boston might've failed to blow out the other team from Los Angeles, topping out with a fluctuating 15 point lead at times, but they certainly defeated them at home, 102-87, in front of a supportive crowd.

The Clippers, to their credit, hung around, refusing to give up when Boston's lead broke out to 15 in the 3rd quarter. Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups had led a competitive effort in the first half, and they saw no reason to stop. As the game rolled along, Blake Griffin (on an off night) picked up steam and fought hard on the glass, reeling in some easy put-back shots at the rim. But what would the Clippers be without a lob or two? Chris Paul didn't dare seek to find out, as he threw one to DeAndre Jordan late in the game to keep the Clippers above water.

However, Paul and Billups failed to finish the comeback, never taking the lead again or coming within 5 points, despite a conscious effort to fire away with 3's in the final minute as they trailed 87-96. Meanwhile, Jamaal Crawford was nowhere near as hot from the field as he'd been the last time these teams faced off when he unconscionably poured in the points back in LA.

The Clippers had quite a mountain to cross, the mountain being Kenyon Martin who leaped off the bench with 20 points, and the range being Jason Terry, Derek Fisher and Rajon Rondo (24 points, 12 assists). Picks were set and the ball kept flowing on the court, as KG nearly cashed in 20 points, hitting important free throws. On the luckless side was Paul Pierce, who couldn't make a shot or drive to the rim without getting tackled by Los Angeles' decent defensive line inside. "The Truth" did manage to swish in the final basket for his team, defiantly nailing a 3 on the wing to raise Boston above the 100 point mark. Paul Millsap also struggled to be effective, but when Rajon Rondo is hearing "M-V-P" chants at the free throw line, a couple of players can afford to have some bad performances.

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