2/6/21 LOS ANGELES, Ca - Entering Friday night's game, the Los Angeles Clippers (17-7) were just within an arm's reach of being in first place in the Western Conference as they hosted the 4th place Boston Celtics (12-9), came up short in a 119-115 loss to the visitors.
The Clippers would be without the services of Paul George, out with a foot injury. The Celtics also entered the game down one player, forward Jaylen Brown.
In the first quarter, Kawhi Leonard got the Clippers on the scoreboard first, after a technical foul was giving to the Boston Celtics' head coach Brad Stevens, shouted something from the bench just 34 seconds into the quarter.
Grant Williams fouled Leonard from behind the three-point arc to extend the Clippers' lead to 21-16 with 3:54 left in the quarter. Leonard had already made 5-6 free throws and led the Clippers in scoring with 9 points.
The Celtics' Jayson Tatum kept the game close by scoring 10 of the 19 points for the Celtics, but only four of those points would come in the paint.
The Celtics would chip away at their 35-29 deficit by sinking back-to-back three-pointers by Carsen Edwards at 9:20 in the second quarter, but the Clippers would respond with three-point shots of their own.
The back and forth battle from behind the arc would favor the Clippers as they ended the first half leading 62-51 with eight three-point shots made. Tatum led the Celtics in scoring with 15 points, followed by his teammate Edwards with 13 points, made 3-5 shots from behind the arc.
The Celtics made some halftime adjustments and got their first lead of the night in the third quarter, 74-73, erasing a 16 point deficit. Grant Williams' three-point shooting was the boost the Celtics needed to get back in the game.
Tatum gave the Celtics their largest lead of the night, 79-75, with a layup with two minutes left in the third quarter. Ivica Zubac made a running two-handed dunk that made the score 79-77. By the end of the quarter, the Celtics had outscored the Clippers 38-17 and led by ten-points, 89-79.
During the fourth quarter, the battle continued, with the game tied 104-104, after a layup by Serge Ibaka, with 4:27 left in the game. Leonard would give the Clippers a 108-106 lead with 2:46 remaining in the game.
Lou Williams made two free throws that had the Clippers down by two-points, 111-109 with 1:56 left in the game, but Kemba Walker's shot with just 3.2 left in the game gave the Celtics a 113-112 lead.
The fast-paced, see-saw like fourth quarter saw the Clippers muscled out by the under-sized Celtics and loss 119-115. The Clippers were led in scoring by Leonard with 28 points, Williams 18 points, Nicolas Williams 16 points, and Marcus Morris Sr. and Luke Kennard both with 13 points.
Tatum led the Celtics in scoring with 34 points, 4-6 from the three-point arc, Walker 24 points, Carsen Edwards 16-points, and Grant Williams and Tristan Thompson both had 11 points. Boston made 16 three-pointers in the game. #nba #laclippers #bostonceltics #kawhileonard #ivicazubac #jaysontatum #clippers #celtics #tgsportstv1