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Celtics hold off Kawhi-less Clippers for 3rd straight win

Kemba Walker scored 25 points and the Boston Celtics held on to defeat the visiting Los Angeles Clippers, 117-112, on Tuesday night, March 2 (Wednesday, March 3, Philippine time).

Jaylen Brown returned after missing a 111-110 win against the Washington Wizards on Sunday and finished with 18 points. 

Jayson Tatum and Payton Pritchard contributed 14 points each for Boston, which has won 3 in a row.

Shortly before tipoff, it was announced that Reggie Jackson would start in place of Clippers leading scorer Kawhi Leonard (26.8), who ended up sitting out because of back spasms.

Jackson scored a season-high 25 points and Paul George finished with 32 points to lead the Clippers, who have lost two in a row.

Tatum had missed 6 straight shots before making two in a row to give Boston its biggest lead at 111-100 with 4:23 left.

The Clippers whittled the lead to 4 with 1:53 remaining, but George missed threes on two straight possessions before making one with 10.9 seconds on the clock to cut the deficit to 114-112.

Daniel Thies then made free throws with 10.2 seconds left to seal the win.

Both teams shot the ball well throughout the game.

The Clippers made 9 of their first 12 field-goal attempts, and the Celtics converted 10 of their first 15. Brown made his first 5 shots and scored 12 points in the opening 7 minutes.

The Celtics eventually took a 35-32 lead into the 2nd quarter and both teams continued to shoot better than 60% from the field.

Tatum scored from in close to give Boston its biggest lead at 49-41, but Los Angeles answered back with a 12-3 run and the lead continued to trade hands until the Clippers took a 63-62 lead into the half.

Marcus Morris Sr, who came in tied with Lou Williams for third on the Clippers in scoring (12.4), suffered a concussion in the final minute of the first half and did not return.

The game stayed close in the third quarter. Williams hit a long step-back three-pointer with 1.1 seconds left to move the Clippers back ahead 89-88 entering the 4th. – Rappler.com