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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Apparently The Clippers' 15-Game Win Streak & Best Record In The NBA Is No Fluke

After a beating like the one just handed to the Celtics tonight, there is very little to say. The Clippers (23-6, 14-3 home) extended their win streak to an eye-popping 15 games with a 106-77 win at Staples Center against Boston (14-14, 5-9 away).

Los Angeles has the best record in the NBA and seeing them up close, it is easy to see why they are a legitimate title contender this season. Chris Paul had eight points and 11 assists while Blake Griffin posted 15 points and eight rebounds and Caron Butler added 14 points. The real story was Matt Barnes, who had a game-high 21 points off the bench, and Jamal Crawford (17 points), who should be in the 2013 All-Star game if he continues to play like this.

After their best game of the season on Christmas in Brooklyn, a team that saw their head coach-Avery Johnson-get fired today, the Celtics came back with their worst effort. Kevin Garnett led the C's with 16 points, Paul Pierce had 12 points, Rajon Rondo put up 10 points, six assists and five rebounds while Jason Terry notched 10 points. Courtney Lee had 12 points off the bench, Brandon Bass grabbed nine rebounds and Jeff Green scored eight.

Afterwards on Inside the NBA, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley suggested that Doc Rivers start Green in order to get his confidence going. At this juncture, it's worth a shot since nothing else seems to make much of a difference. They pointed out that there is too much pressure on him playing with the second unit and being with Rondo would get him easy buckets.

I think numbers in blowout games (win or lose) can be meaningless but you have to admit that some of these are horrifying if you consider yourself a Celtics fan: Los Angeles shot 7.9% better from the field (48.2%-40.3%), hit six more 3-pointers (12-6), handed out 11 more assists (31-20), had seven more steals (12-5), four more blocks (7-3) and 10 less turnovers (18-8). The Clippers produced 16 more points in the paint (42-26).

Since Oklahoma City vs. Dallas went into overtime on TNT, we didn't get sent to LA until midway through the first quarter with the Clippers up 18-6. It honestly didn't get any better for the rest of the game. At one point, the Celts cut it to a four point deficit in the second quarter (32-28) but the Clippers responded with an 8-0 run and that was basically it.

Los Angeles outscored Boston in every quarter, including 24-10 in the fourth quarter which is beyond depressing. The Celts are at Golden State (19-10, 2nd in Pacific Division) on Saturday night (10:30 p.m., CSN) and there is a decent chance that it'll end up just like this blowout. The Warriors are one of the hottest teams in the NBA (7-3 in their last 10) and they play great at home (8-4 this season). If Boston doesn't bring a much more respectable effort, they'll find themselves on the wrong end of another embarrassing scoreline.

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