Celtics beat Clippers to end their 4-game slide
Kyrie Irving amassed 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to help the Boston Celtics snap their four-game skid and avoid back-to-back losses in Los Angeles with a 113-102 win over the Clippers late on Jan. 24 at Staples Center.
Jayson Tatum scored 18 points and both Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier had 15 for the Celtics, who were defeated by the Lakers 108-107 on Jan. 23.
Boston avoided its first five-game losing streak since Nov. 21-Dec. 2, 2014.
“We need tests throughout the season, and going through a four-game losing streak which is new for our team and, you know, I’ve been through all ups and downs in seven different seasons now, and for me it’s just about staying the course,” Irving told ESPN after the game.
Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 23 points, and Lou Williams added 20 off the bench, giving him an NBA-best 10 consecutive games of 20 or more points as a reserve. Los Angeles dropped its third straight after a season-best, six-game winning streak. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan totaled 15 points and 14 rebounds in his return from a five-game absence caused by a left ankle injury.
Tyrone Wallace’s 3-pointer with 4:30 remaining in the third quarter pulled Los Angeles within 74-71, but Boston closed the period on a 17-6 run.
The Celtics led by as many as 19 in the fourth quarter. One day after being named an All-Star reserve, Boston’s Al Horford did not play due to concerns about a head injury. Horford, who has sustained two concussions in the past two seasons, was hit in the head during the Tuesday game. Boston’s Marcus Smart, who missed a game-winning 3-point attempt at the buzzer against the Lakers, sat out against the Clippers due to a lacerated left hand.
Smart cut his hand on glass o Jan. 24 and received stitches, the team said. Before the game, the NBA announced that Celtics youngsters Tatum and Jaylen Brown were selected to participate in the Rising Stars Game during All-Star Weekend in mid-February. No Clippers players were picked for the game.
The Celtics and Clippers complete their two-game season series Feb. 14 in Boston. Los Angeles heads out for two games starting Jan. 26 against the Memphis Grizzlies. Boston continues its four-game road trip Saturday night against the defending champion Golden State Warriors.