BOSTON — Let NBA players tell you, every game has an equal value in their eyes when it comes to wanting to win.
Still, on nights such as Wednesday when the Clippers met the Celitcs, Clippers players admitted it was a game they wanted badly.
Sure, it would help in terms of their overall record.
Just as important, it would give their new coach Doc Rivers a victory over the team that he parted ways with this summer.
And they came through for their new coach, defeating the Celtics, 96-88.
"Whether someone admits it or not, some games mean a little bit more," said Clippers forward Blake Griffin. "It was important for us [to win]. As players, we definitely talked about it."
Antawn Jamison, who eclipsed the 20,000-point barrier in the second quarter on Wednesday, echoed Griffin's sentiments.
"I think a lot of us who have been on a team and been in those situations where you have been traded, you always want to go back, especially that first game and get that win. We knew how important it was for Doc and what it meant for him to get the win. You know it was definitely something we wanted to do."
After the game, Rivers talked about being so emotionally distraught, "I was basically useless for the first eighteen minutes of the game, I thought."
Said Griffin: "I wouldn't make that assessment. But if that's him being useless, we're in pretty good shape."