Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The Clippers are God-Awful Again
Shaun Livingston and Elton Brand haven't played a game this year. Now, Chris Kaman and everybody's favorite space alien Sam Cassell are on the shelf with injuries. These are not the best of times for the Los Angeles Clippers. The Boston Celtics took advantage of the pitiful Clippers and rolled to a 104-76 win at the Staples Center last night.
The Celts ended the West Coast trip at 2-3 and thankfully only have one more killer road trip: Texas and New Orleans in late March.
Paul Pierce (17 points) and James Posey (17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals) led the way as Boston's (43-12) bench got plenty of action in the second half. Even former USC guard Gabe Pruitt came out of the witness protection program and scored six points in ten minutes.
As detailed the last time the Celts played the Clippers (19-35), LA has a bunch of scrubs that could be lining up at your local soup kitchen any day now looking for a hot meal. With the latest injuries, Aaron Williams and Brevin Knight (10 points) were forced to start.
Boston won every quarter in the game. The C's led 23-17 after the first and 45-36 at the half. Ray Allen (15 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds) and Kevin Garnett (11 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks, 4 assists) played well then got a well-deserved rest in the fourth. Leon Powe scored 12 and Rajon Rondo added nine.
The Clippers didn't put up much of a fight in the second half, losing the third 32-21 and the fourth 27-19. Tim Thomas had 15 points and nine rebounds, Corey Maggette had 11 points and promising rookie Al Thornton put up 11 points and eight boards.
Boston's defense really responded over the last seven quarters of this road trip which started out as a nightmare. They held the Clippers to 40.0% shooting while shooting 55.1% themselves. Boston had way more 3-pointers (8 to 2) and blocks (also 8 to 2).
The Celts come home today and face the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers tomorrow night at the Garden. The Cavs picked up Ben Wallace, Joe Smith, old friend Delonte West and stiff Wally Szcerbiak last week before the trade deadline. Cleveland is currently in fourth-place in the East but will most likely jump Orlando before the playoffs start.