Clippers win their 5th straight, 115-96 over Celtics. It was just Boston's 2nd home loss
Sat, Jan 27, 2024
NBA News (AP)
BOSTON (AP) - Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points in only 29 minutes and the Los Angeles Clippers routed the Boston Celtics 115-96 on Saturday night.
Paul George added 17 points for the Clippers, who used a 21-0 run in the third quarter to win their fifth straight and avenge a 37-point home loss to Boston in December. Leonard, George and the rest of Los Angeles' starters sat the entire fourth quarter.
It was the most lopsided home loss of the season for Boston, which lost for just the second time at home after starting the season 20-0 at TD Garden.
Jayson Tatum led Boston with 21 points. But the Celtics collectively shot just 35% from the field (36 of 101) and 25% (10 of 40) from 3-point range.
The Clippers didn't show any effects of playing on the second night of a back to back, pushing their 16-point halftime lead as high as 36 in the third quarter. They finished with 64 points in the paint.
Los Angeles exploited the interior of a Celtics defense that was without 7-footer Kristaps Porzingis, who sat with a sprained left ankle.
The center isn't expected to miss much time, but his presence was missed against a Clippers team that sped Boston up in the halfcourt forcing the Celtics to settle for jump shots.
It was all on display in the third quarter when Los Angeles had its 21-0 run to take a 79-46 advantage. The stretch included a technical foul on Tatum and rounds of boos from an equally frustrated home crowd.
Saturday was the second game of a season-high seven-game road trip for the Clippers. It also marked the start of a seven-game homestand for Boston, which is its longest of the season.
The Clippers led by as many as 18 in the first half and held a 55-39 halftime lead. Los Angeles held the Celtics to just 29% from the field and 4 for 23 (17%) beyond the arc in the opening 24 minutes.
The Celtics started flat, tying a season low for points in the first quarter (21). They also went the entire first half without registering a second-chance point.
Clippers: At Cavaliers on Monday.
Celtics: Host Pelicans on Monday.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nbaKYLE HIGHTOWER Sports writer covering Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox & Bruins. twitter mailto "