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SportCeltics laid low vs. Clippers in finale of West Coast trip

07:40  12 march  2019
07:40  12 march  2019 Source:   bostonglobe.com

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Box score: clippers 140, celtics 115. The Celtics were ready to get back to their time zone, back to their homecourt, and back to their own beds. But they are leaving feeling much more at ease than they were when they arrived. They began this trip in a bad place. They’d won just 1 of 6 games

LOS ANGELES — Before the Celtics faced the Clippers on Monday, coach Brad Stevens thought back to the other meeting between these teams that occurred in Boston just over one month ago. On that night, the Clippers surged back from a 28-point deficit before grabbing a comfortable 11-point win.

Celtics laid low vs. Clippers in finale of West Coast trip© Jae C. Hong/AP Celtics' guard Marcus Smart grimmaces in pain as he writhes on the court after taking a knee from LA’s Montrezl Harrell during the first half of Monday night’s game at the Staples Center.

LOS ANGELES — Before the Celtics faced the Clippers on Monday, coach Brad Stevens thought back to the other meeting between these teams that occurred in Boston just over one month ago.

“We played an excellent 17-minute game,” Stevens said. “Unfortunately, the last 31 minutes happened.”

On that night, the Clippers surged back from a 28-point deficit before grabbing a comfortable 11-point win. The only major difference in Monday’s rematch was that this comfortable win by the Clippers required no comeback.

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Embarrassed Celtics might have to accept this is just who they are TORONTO — As the media were allowed into the locker room Tuesday at Scotiabank Arena, Kyrie Irving, legs soaking in ice buckets, was sharing a whisper-quiet conversation with Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. Ainge was listening. Irving was calmly venting. And Irving sat at his locker for several minutes, joking with teammates Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris. It’s reached a point in Boston where no one in the locker room, front office or coaching staff can figure out why the Celtics are so inconsistent and at some points just quit. Irving’s behavior didn’t seem one of acceptance for the situation, but it wasn’t one of crushing disappointment, either.

The Clippers are obviously the better team in terms of personnel. But they have had their own issues with consistency and creating second chance At this point, the Knicks just need a game to help wash the stink off those Nets losses. On a rough West Coast trip , a win in LA has the potential to bring a

The Celtics almost — almost — rolled to an undefeated four-game road trip out west . But all four of the West Coast games presented a different kind of challenge, one that the Celtics not only Team USA has proven that players living in unique experiences can sometimes lay the groundwork for the

BOX SCORE: CLIPPERS 140, CELTICS 115

Los Angeles took a 3-2 lead just 51 seconds into the game and never relinquished it, ultimately throttling the Celtics, 140-115, The Clippers had a blistering 3-point shooting night, going 11 for 20. And the primary issue for Boston was that the majority of the attempts came with very little resistance. Lou Williams, who set a new NBA record for career bench points, finished with 34 points on 14 of 21 shooting.

Danilo Gallinari set the tone with a 13-point first quarter and finished with 25.

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum missed the game with a sore right shoulder and his replacement in the starting lineup, Jaylen Brown, had 22 points and 7 rebounds, providing further evidence that it might be time for him to replace the scuffling Marcus Morris.

Forget standings, Celtics just need to play better

Forget standings, Celtics just need to play better It’s time for the Celtics to shift their priorities with just 20 games left after suffering a fourth straight loss Wednesday night. Forget about the standings. Catching Toronto and Milwaukee are now delusions and even getting the third seed is unlikely at this point barring at least a 15-5 finish. So after a 97-92 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, the goal for the Celtics now has to be focusing on playing pristine basketball — which has been rare in this disappointing season — and getting ready for the playoffs, regardless of their seed. Even if that means they finish fifth and begin their first-round series on the road.

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Tim Bontemps and Michael Wilbon both agree that the Boston Celtics going 3-1 on their road trip out west was great for the team because they discovered a

Despite the loss, however, it was an encouraging 3-1 road trip for the Celtics, who steadied themselves after a miserable 1-5 start after the All-Star break.

They now return home for a three-game home stand. And the other good news is that they will not face these Clippers again.

Gallinari had a hot start for Los Angeles, making 5 of 7 over the first nine minutes of the quarter. The Clippers generally had success when they got the ball to the basket, but that was an issue at times, too.

They made 63.9 percent of their shots in the first half but also committed 14 turnovers. Unfortunately for the Celtics, their own turnovers were compounded by misfires, and that allowed the home team’s lead to swell.

After the Celtics sliced a 12-point deficit to 46-42 behind some darting, efficient play by Kyrie Irving, the Clippers answered with a 9-0 burst that included two dunks by Ivica Zubac and ultimately took a 62-49 lead to halftime.

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2:30 - How do we feel about the Celtics West Coast trip so far? A. Sherrod Blakely is joined by Abby Chin to break down the Celtics West Coast trip . They discuss their impressions of the Celtics now, and how they have changed from the start of the season.

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Gallinari and Williams combined for 35 first-half points, and Los Angeles made 72.2 percent of its shots in the second quarter.

Brown, who has struggled with his 3-point shooting throughout this season, drilled three of them during a stretch of just 1 minute, 23 seconds midway through the third quarter. He has made more than three 3s in a game just once all season.

But this torrid segment was not accompanied by stops at the other end of the court, as Los Angeles continued to pick Boston apart with unusually wide open 3-pointers.

After Gallinari made another, Landry Shamet hit two more from the corners before Patrick Beverley drained one that gave the Clippers their largest lead, 99-80. Then Williams seized control at the start of the fourth, scoring 13 points over the first four minutes to put the Celtics away.

Related slideshow: 2018-19 NBA Season (Provided by imagn)

Celtics laid low vs. Clippers in finale of West Coast trip
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