Paul Pierce scored 22 points while Jeff Green and Leandro Barbosa added 14 apiece off the bench as the Celtics outlasted the Clippers, 106-104, Sunday afternoon at TD Garden. Pierce's three as the shot clock expired sealed the win with 2.5 seconds left in the game and helped the Celtics avoid the embarrassment of blowing a 19-point halftime lead. The Celtics finished 11-for-18 from 3-point range while Boston's bench outscored LA's reserves, 52-29, with 23 of those 29 coming from Jamal Crawford.
Jason Terry hit a big shot as the shot clock expired late in the fourth quarter as the Celtics won their fourth straight and moved back over .500 at 24-23 on the season. While the Celtics were playing without Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger, the Clippers were without star point guard Chris Paul, missing his seventh game in nine outings with a sore right knee.
Both teams came out on fire in the first quarter. The Celtics started off 8-of-13 from the field while the Clippers hit 6-of-9 to start the game. The Celtics overcame four Clippers dunks in the first quarter to take a 33-30 lead after 12 minutes.
The Celtics turned the defensive screws on the Clippers in the second quarter while staying red-hot themselves. The Celtics scored the first six points of the quarter while Los Angeles didn't get on the board until Lamar Odom's turnaround over four minutes into the quarter. The Celtics forced 15 Clippers turnovers in the first half, including nine in the second quarter. The Celtics managed to turn those 15 turnovers into 24 points and race out to a 59-40 halftime lead.
The Celtics had remarkable balance in the first half, with 10 of their 11 players finding the scoring column. Only rookie Fab Melo, who didn't see the floor, failed to score. Green and Terry led a potent attack off the bench with nine points apiece, combining to go 4-for-5 from the three-point range.
The Clippers responded to open the third, scoring the first eight points to cut the lead back to 11, 59-48. But after Blake Griffin picked up his fourth foul midway through the third, the Celtics, thanks to a pair of responded, building the lead back to 19, 74-55. The Celtics closed the third as they did in the second quarter, on a run. Green and Barbosa hit back-to-back threes and Barbosa hit a top-of-the-key jumper as time expired to give the Celtics a 92-77 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Celtics were 10-for-14 from long range through three quarters before going ice cold in the fourth.
With play getting increasingly chippy in the fourth, including a technical on Kevin Garnett for an elbow with Griffin guarding him. Moments later, the Clippers drew to within eight, 98-90, with 8:04 remaining on a Crawford jumper. Bass answered moments later with a dunk. But the Clippers came back with a Griffin dunk and a Crawford layup to cut the lead to six, 100-94, with 5:42 left. Another Crawford layup with 4:55 left cut the lead to 100-96. Crawford hit another layup with 3:17 left and the lead was down to three, 101-98. With a chance to tie, Crawford stepped on the sideline with just over two minutes left.
Terry's fadeaway jumper as the shot clock expired put Boston back up five, 103-98, with 1:09 left. But Bledsoe hit a three with 56.2 seconds left to cut the lead to two, 103-101. Avery Bradley drew an offensive foul on Crawford with 26.6 seconds left, wiping out a basket that would've tied the game.
The Celtics are off until Wednesday night, when they play in Toronto against the Raptors. They return home to play Kobe Bryant and the Lakers Thursday night at TD Garden. For more coverage from the Garden from Mike Petraglia and Ben Rohrbach, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.
Head Coach Bill Belichick with Dale and Holley
Dale, Michael and Jerry sit down with DE Chandler Jones on a Patriots Monday for a candid interview about this season, his new teammates, and the Dallas game this weekend.
We talk all things Patriots and the NFL with Tedy Bruschi.
Sam Packard is joined by his brother Nick, as he breaks down his favorite moments from Celtics Media Day. Sam then tries to compare each member of the Celtics roster to a character on The Wire, with varied results.
Sam Packard is joined by Jared Weiss of CLNSRadio.Com to talk about trading Bradley and the upcoming Celtics Media Day.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
Dave O'Brien has called Red Sox baseball games with Joe Castiglione since 2007. Dave is going to the NESN booth next season to take over for Don Orsillo as the Red Sox TV play-by-play man. Dave talks about his time with Joe and the Red Sox Radio broadcast and closes out a very meaningful chapter of a tremendous career. Joe Castiglione offers his thoughts and well-wishes to Dave and closes out, as is tradition, with the Bart Giamatti poem.
We check in for a final time this season with Red Sox interim manager Torey Luvollo as look ahead to 2016 with him.
Joe and Rob Bradford talk with Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart who had his first career multi home run game as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 10-4 and extend their winning streak to a season high 5 games.
DJ Bean joins Butch Stearns and Rob Bradford in studio with the pre-season ending to discuss the upcoming season's line combinations and the changes made in the offseason.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Stephen A. confronted Kevin Durant on ESPN yesterday.
Another blown call in Seattle on Monday Night Football.
Ray Lewis was on the MNF pregame show attacking Jimmy Graham's blocking abilities.
The Lions lost in a controversial ending last night on MNF. Lions Head Coach, Jim Caldwell, barely registers a pulse in his post game presser, and clearly doesn't know the rules.
Glenn, Lou and Christian dive into the DraftKings/FanDuel scandal, and talk about how competitive advantages can be gained, and what the two businesses can do to prevent it.
We look at the call in the Detroit game that may have cost them the game, and how Bill Belichick was again ahead of the curve about making ALL plays reviewable. We also focus on how Bill Belichick coached teams prepare for plays like that.
We wrap up the program with some of the best in soundbites that you may have missed throughout the day.
Dale, Michael and Jerry talk Bruins, specifically Claude Julien as we are less than 24 hours from the puck-drop for the 2015-2016 Bruins season.
Mikey, Lenny and Danny Picard are talking about how rules seemingly fall through the cracks during live games
Mikey and Lenny are talking aboutt he batted ball controversy from the Seahawks vs Lions game on Monday Night Football.
Chris Villani and John Tomase discuss Tom Brady's suspension getting overturned by Judge Richard Berman and discuss in hindsight how obvious this should have been.
Chris Price and Mike Petraglia discuss who they think are the most media friendly players in the Patriots locker room and if the Dallas Cowboys will present a challenge this Sunday.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk discuss Sausage's pudding story, Don Orsillo and Curtis just shows up for some reason.
Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable take a look back at the 2015 season for the Boston Red Sox and their affiliates, including who the guys think should be classified as the team's Top 10 prospects. Also, a check in with play-by-play voices this year in Pawtucket, Portland, Salem, and Greenville as well as Ken's one-on-one interview with Offensive Player of the Year Sam Travis.
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