Good, Bad & The Ugly: Better effort, same result

Good, Bad & The Ugly: Better effort, same result
January 9, 2014, 1:45 am
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The Celtics' losing streak extended to six following a 111-105 loss on Wednesday night to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Still, this one was different from the team's recent setbacks as the Celtics competed from the opening tip-off to the final horn.

Boston made their share of mistakes at both ends of the floor.

Even as they spent the bulk of the game trailing, the Celtics consistently managed to fight and scrap their way into keeping the game relatively close and competitive.

It was the kind of effort that has been lacking in recent games.

And although the outcome wasn't what the Celtics were looking for, it was indeed a step in the right direction because of the effort displayed by just about every player who stepped on the floor.

Here's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from the loss to the Clippers.

The Good

Celtics backcourt

Jordan Crawford and Avery Bradley each finished with 24 points, combining to shoot 17-for-35 from the field.

They were effective most of the night in attacking the Clippers guards, but they also combined for seven turnovers - five by Crawford - which was among the many factors that hurt the Celtics in their quest for the upset.

Jared Dudley

The former Boston College standout had 18 points, 16 of which came in the first half. His shooting, especially from 3-point range (he was 4-for-6), was instrumental in the Clippers pulling ahead by as many as 16 in the first half.

Jamal Crawford

He scores more points in the fourth quarter than any player in the NBA, and the Celtics found out first-hand just how prolific he can be in the game's final 12 minutes. Crawford finished with 26 points, nine of which came in the fourth.

The Bad

Transition defense

The Clippers scored 11 of their first 17 points via the fast break and went into the half with a total of 21 fast-break points. Boston did a much better job in the second half as Los Angeles finished the game with 24 fast-break points.

Jared Sullinger

Once again Sullinger is making headlines for all the wrong reasons. On the same day he was given a reprieve by the league in having a flagrant foul rescinded, he went out and picked up another one Wednesday night. Sullinger once again has five flagrant foul points, with his next flagrant resulting in at least a one-game suspension.

The Ugly

Free-throw shooting

The Celtics did not do themselves any favors from the line as they connected on just 73 percent (22-of-30) of their free throws. There were a number of things that did not go their way on Wednesday. But free throws fall under the category of things they could control.

And their inability to make free throws early on would prove to be a major factor in their losing streak being extended to six in a row.