Celtics’ Fight Falls Short Against Clippers
LOS ANGELES (AP) –– Blake Griffin scored 29 points, Jamal Crawford added 26, and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Boston Celtics 111-105 on Wednesday night to improve to 16-3 at home.
Jared Dudley scored 18 points and Darren Collison had 15 points, six assists and five rebounds in place of the injured Chris Paul. DeAndre Jordan had 11 points and 13 rebounds in giving Clippers coach Doc Rivers a second win over his old team this season.
Los Angeles improved to 12-10 without Paul in the lineup since he arrived in 2011. He’s out six weeks with a separated right shoulder.
Jordan Crawford and Avery Bradley scored 24 points each in Boston’s sixth straight loss overall and ninth in 10 games. The Celtics have dropped six in a row on the road while continuing to struggle without injured Rajon Rondo, who has a torn ACL in his right knee.
Jared Sullinger was called for a flagrant-1 technical on Griffin with 10 minutes left in the game. Griffin was driving to the basket when Sullinger ended up on Griffin’s back. It was Sullinger’s fifth this season and third in two nights. He received two in Boston’s 129-98 loss at Denver on Tuesday, although one of those was rescinded earlier Wednesday.
Boston trailed 88-82 to start the fourth, but quickly fell behind 100-84. Griffin hit 3 of 5 free throws, and Willie Green and Crawford made 3-pointers that helped stretch the Clippers’ lead.
After Sullinger’s flagrant, Boston outscored the Clippers 21-11 to end the game. Trailing 109-105, Jerryd Bayless missed a shot with 8 seconds to go, ending the Celtics’ late push.
Jeff Green finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Brandon Bass added 14 points.
Boston took its first and only lead of the game, 72-71, with less than 5 minutes left in the third on Kris Humphries’ first basket. That capped a 13-4 spurt in which the Celtics rallied from eight points down. He started in his return from a sprained left ankle that kept him out of the loss to Denver.
Dudley hit three consecutive 3-pointers as the Clippers led 53-42 in the second. Boston had a 13-6 spurt, including six by Bradley, to get within one. Jamal Crawford made three straight free throws to keep the Clippers ahead 59-55 at halftime.
The Clippers used an 18-0 run with five different players scoring in the first quarter to take their largest lead of the game, 26-10.
Notes: Clippers G J.J. Redick could return Friday against the Lakers. He’s been out with a broken right hand and torn ligament in his wrist. G Reggie Bullock will miss the next game with a sprained left ankle. … Rivers said the Clippers would work out veteran F Hedo Turkoglu, who has been without a team since he was released by Orlando last fall. … The Celtics fell to 2-8 in the second game of a back-to-back this season.