LOS ANGELES, USA – DeAndre Jordan scored a career-high 30 points as the Los Angeles Clippers sent the Boston Celtics spinning to a 4th defeat in 5 games with a 129-119 victory at the TD Garden on Thursday, February 15.
Jordan – the Clippers’ de facto team leader – produced an inspirational performance that included 13 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals to give his side a deserved road victory heading into the All-Star break.
The win left Los Angeles firmly in the hunt in the Western Conference playoff race, taking them to 30-26.
Boston leaned heavily on a 33-point haul from Kyrie Irving but it was not enough to stop them from a 3rd straight loss.
The Celtics are second in the Eastern Conference on 40-19, trailing the Toronto Raptors, who crushed the Chicago Bulls 122-98 elsewhere on Thursday.
The Clippers had Boston on the back foot almost from the outset, leading by 14 points in the first half before the Celtics hit back to close within 4 points at 61-57 at halftime.
A see-saw second half saw the lead change hands repeatedly, with Irving firing Boston ahead with a superb 3-pointer late in the 3rd.
The Clippers, however, rattled off 10 unanswered points in the 4th to take an unassailable lead.
“We got so many guys who draw a lot of attention,” Jordan said afterwards. “I was able to roll. My team-mates did a really good job of finding me tonight.
“I was just really confident tonight.”
All 5 of the Clippers starters cracked double figures, while Lou Williams came off the bench to deliver 19 points.
“Everybody has a job to do on this team,” Jordan said. “We’ve got to keep it up and stay healthy.”
But while the Clippers battled to a deserved win, there was no such luck for their city rivals the Los Angeles Lakers, who were demolished 139-117 by an Anthony Davis-inspired New Orleans Pelicans.
Davis conjured another hefty exhibition of scoring, pouring on 42 points with 15 rebounds and 3 assists to take his team to 31-26.
However the action was overshadowed by a stormy contest which saw the Pelicans’ Rajon Rondo and the Lakers’ new signing Isaiah Thomas – former team-mates with the Boston Celtics – ejected after a fracas in the first quarter.
Lakers coach Luke Walton was also given his marching orders, sent to the locker room in the second quarter after an expletive-laden tirade at the officiating crew following a foul against Kyle Kuzma.
In other games Thursday, James Harden had 28 points as the Houston Rockets maintained their pace at the top of the Western Conference with a 100-91 win over the Sacramento Kings.
Houston are now 44-13, neck and neck with the Golden State Warriors who are playing later Thursday. – Rappler.com
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