Celtics fall to youthful Clippers, 108-103


Celtics fall to youthful Clippers, 108-103

By A.Sherrod Blakely

BOSTON The Boston Celtics' plan was a simple one: Limit the highlight-reel plays generated by Los Angeles Clippers All-Star and rookie phenom, Blake Griffin.

There's just one problem with that.

They forgot the other four guys on the floor with him can make plays as well.

The C's know that now after the Clippers dominated the Celtics -- yes, those Clippers -- from the beginning until the bitter end of a 108-103 loss for Boston (46-16).

After struggling for three-plus quarters, Boston mounted a furious last-second rally.

Trailing 104-100 with possession of the ball and 25.3 seconds remaining, the C's called a time out.

Out of the time out, Paul Pierce took a contested 3-pointer that was off the mark. DeAndre Jordan grabbed the rebound and was immediately fouled with 15.6 seconds to play.

Jordan sank both free throws, but the Celtics weren't ready to roll over just yet.

A 3-pointer by the 3-point king, Ray Allen, made it a one-possession game with 10.5 seconds to play.

Following a Clippers time out, Randy Foye was fouled with 9.1 seconds to play. He made both of his free throws to make it a 108-103 game to secure the win.

The ending was symbolic of the kind of night it was for the Celtics. Every big play by Boston was met with an even bigger one by the Clippers.

With the loss, Boston's five-game winning streak is over, while the Clippers (25-40) continue to surge ahead by winning their fourth straight game.

So much of the attention leading up to the game was on Griffin, who had 12 points and seven rebounds to go with five assists.

But it was Griffin's less-heralded teammates that inflicted most of the damage.

DeAndre Jordan had 21 points, most of which came on Blake Griffin-esque dunks.

However, the Clippers and the Celtics are at opposite ends of the winning spectrum this season.

And in the third quarter, we saw why.

Boston, which fell behind by as many as 20 points in the first half, cut the Clippers lead to just 11 points following a 3-pointer by Pierce.

They had a chance to make it a single digit game, but Jeff Green missed a lightly contested jumper.

Still, the C's were feeling pretty confident going into the fourth down 76-66.

With more than five minutes to play, the C's were very much back in the game, but the energy Boston exerted to get back in the game started to catch up with them, as players started missing a number of the shots that they had made earlier during fourth quarter surge.

Former Celtic Ryan Gomes delivered one of the biggest shots of the night, a 3-pointer in front of the Celtics bench, with four minutes to play that gave the Clippers a 10-point lead.

That was one of many baskets made by the youthful Clippers down the stretch, as they snapped a three-game losing skid to the Celtics at the TD Garden.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Report: Celtics not one of the teams trying to acquire Cousins

Report: Celtics not one of the teams trying to acquire Cousins

The Sacramento Kings are "fully engaged" in DeMarcus Cousins trade discussions, but it appears the Boston Celtics are not in the running for the All-Star center.

According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, the Celtics are not one of the teams talking to the Kings about Cousins.

More to come. . . 


Davis' 52 points breaks Chamberlain's All-Star record, West beats East, 192-182


Davis' 52 points breaks Chamberlain's All-Star record, West beats East, 192-182

NEW ORLEANS – The stars were everywhere, on and off the court during the 66th annual NBA All-Star game.

There were lots of hugs, handshakes and goody-good vibes shared by all.

And then … the fourth quarter arrived.

It’s the only time of the game when the All-Star game actually looks like a game and not an open gym full of the best players on the planet.

And as we’ve seen this season, no one is better in the fourth quarter than Boston’s Isaiah Thomas.

True to form, Thomas saw a playing time in the fourth quarter.

But his scoring prowess wasn’t enough with the Western Conference emerging with a 192-182 win.  It is the sixth time in the last seven All-Star games that the West has come away with the victory.

Thomas had 20 points on 7-for-15 shooting and 4-for-10 from 3-point range.

That’s not a bad performance, but there were others who were a lot more prolific shooting the ball.

Kevin Durant, playing in his first All-Star game as a member of the Golden State Warriors, had a triple-double of 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, MVP each of the previous two All-Star games, finished with 41 points – one shy of tying the most points scored in an All-Star game.

Despite Westbrook’s monster game, the record wound up being shattered by New Orleans’ Anthony Davis who had 52 points which broke Wilt Chamberlain’s All-Star game record of 42 points set in 1962.

Shooting 26 for 39 from the field, Davis also grabbed 10 rebounds.

One of the more interesting stretches came in the first half between Thomas and Westbrook.

Westbrook grabbed an offensive rebound, saw that he was being guarded by Thomas and snarled at him moments before banking in a 3-pointer.

Thomas wasn’t about to be showed up by his fellow All-Star.

On the ensuing possession, he came right back and hit a long range 3-pointer in Russell’s mug. Westbrook came back with a 3-pointer that was off the mark followed by a Thomas miss.

That sequence was about as close as we came to seeming some semblance of defense played by either team, with lay-ups, and wide open dunks reigning supreme all night.

The much-talked about “reunion” between Durant and Westbrook was very civil, one that included the two connecting on a give-and-go in the first half that ended with a Westbrook basket.

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo gave the crowd better dunks in the All-Star game than the actual slam dunk contest, finishing with 30 points on 14-of-17 with 12 dunks.