Celtics hand Clippers second straight loss

Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports
The Celtics beat the Clippers and took over Arena, prompting Clippers guard Terrence Mann to say, “There’s a lot of green in here. I don’t like that.”

LOS ANGLES — The Boston Celtics made themselves at home Saturday at Arena, cruising to a whopping 145-108 win over Los Angeles. It’s the most points scored from a Clippers opponent this season.

Kawhi Leonard missed his second consecutive game with a hip contusion. His missing presence on both sides of the ball were felt as six Celtics were able to score in double figures. Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Jrue Holiday combined for 74 points. 

Without Leonard, head coach Tyronn Lue is determined not to let the recent losses affect the team’s chances of success. 

“These last two games, don’t let it discourage what we’ve built,” Lue said postgame. 

Turning point: The Clippers opened the game scoring the fewest amount of points in a first quarter since Dec. 6, according to the LA Times. That resulted in a 28-21 Boston lead after the first. The Celtics went 9-15 (60%) from deep to take a 68-51 lead at the end of the second. By halftime, Jayson Tatum had 21 points under his belt for Boston.

Boston separated the gap even further towards the start of the third quarter with a 10-0 run. The Celtics found themselves leading by as much as 35 points before the Clippers fought back to get within 106-81 in the fourth. Unfortunately, that’s as close as the team would get.

What it means: The Clippers fall to 17-12 and suffer their second consecutive loss in December after losing at the hands of Oklahoma City on Thursday, 115-134. The team now finds themselves alongside the New Orleans Pelicans as the fifth seed in the Western Conference.

Hits: Despite the lopsided loss, Paul George led Los Angeles with 21 points on 9-17 shooting. George also collected three rebounds, two assists and was 3-7 in three-pointers. On the other side of the ball, he capitalized with two blocks and a steal.

Misses: The Celtics, who lead the league in three-pointers made at 16 per game, outperformed Los Angeles from beyond the arc. Boston shot 25-53 (47.2%) from deep while the Clippers went 11-34 (32.4%). The Celtics 25 threes are the second-most ever from a Clippers opponent. 

Stat of the game: The 53 three-point attempts from Boston are the most allowed by an LA Clippers opponent in franchise history.
Up next: The Charlotte Hornets visit Arena to take on the Clippers Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The Memphis Grizzlies will follow on Friday at  7:30 p.m. Both visiting teams are currently placed as the thirteenth seed in their respective conferences.