US basketball

Celtics end home stand on winning note, knock off Clippers

Reuters
Celtics end home stand on winning note, knock off Clippers

STREAKING. Celtics forward Jayson Tatum gets fouled by Clippers forward Nicolas Batum.

Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Jayson Tatum and the Celtics streak to their fourth straight win even as Clippers stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combine for 50 points

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum each fired 29 points as the Boston Celtics beat the visiting Los Angeles Clippers, 116-110, to cap their seven-game homestand on Thursday night, December 29 (Friday, December 30, Manila time).

Brown scored 12 in the fourth quarter to help the Celtics close out their fourth straight win, while Tatum grabbed 11 rebounds for his 14th double-double of the season.

Marcus Smart had 17 points, 9 assists, and 2 steals, while Derrick White added 15 points and Robert Williams III 12 for Boston.

Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 26 points to go with 8 rebounds, and Paul George had 24 points and 6 assists for the Clippers, who had five players score in double figures.

The Clippers answered a 6-0 Celtics run out of a timeout, but 6 of the following 8 points went Boston’s way. Brown’s drive and layup brought the Celtics to 100 points with 7:58 left.

Boston won with 7-2 and 5-0 runs that were separated by Reggie Jackson’s triple with 4:39 left.

Derrick White’s layup and three-point play capped the first spurt, while Grant Williams hit a three-pointer and Marcus Smart followed with a steal and layup to up Boston’s lead to 10.

In the final minute, White and Al Horford came up with key blocks that led to changes of possession and Brown and Tatum free throws to seal the win.

The Celtics had a 13-2 run in the first quarter, with a layup by Brown and Horford’s corner trey making it 24-15.

A few minutes later, Norman Powell banked in a last-second running three-pointer as Los Angeles finished the opening quarter on an 11-3 run and got within 27-26.

Boston put together a late 9-0 run in the second quarter, with Brown’s pull-up jumper expanding the lead to 50-37 with 3:16 left before halftime.

Robert Williams tipped in a Tatum miss at the buzzer to give the Celtics an 11-point lead.

The Clippers hit 4 of their first 6 three-pointers in the third quarter. Marcus Morris Sr. hit the last trey during that run to make it 67-65, then George’s runner from downtown gave Los Angeles a 74-72 lead midway through the period.

Boston regained the lead after back-to-back treys by Smart and Sam Hauser, the latter off a tough Grant Williams offensive rebound. John Wall’s left wing triple in the final minute of the third lifted put the Clippers ahead 85-84.

Boston interim head coach Joe Mazzulla (corneal abrasions) was absent from a second straight game. Assistant coach Damon Stoudamire led the team. – Rappler.com

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