LOS ANGELES, CA-The Boston Celtics ran into the wrong Los Angeles team this time around. After defeating the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, the Celtics and their star guard Kyrie Irving had an extra day to prepare to face off against the Los Angeles Clippers. Turns out that extra day didn’t help Boston at all as the Clippers wiped the Staples Center floor with the Celtics’ green uniforms.
My bad, that was Lou Williams dropping dimes on the Celtics all night, to the tune of 34 points to lead the Clippers to a 140-115 win.
“We played terrific,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said after the game in his postgame press conference. “We shot the ball well, moved the ball and played at an amazing pace. I thought Lou [Williams] got the pace started, but I thought the defense early on was terrific as well, and that got us out running. We really believed that we had to turn this into a pace game to win the game and I thought we did that.”
In yet another one of his brilliant performances this season, Williams continues on his trek of cutting out his opponents’ hearts with one big 3-point dagger after another and having the ability to weave in and out of traffic in the paint to convert easy buckets. But that’s what Williams do.
It’s what he has done throughout his career. Williams, coming off the bench again, has broken enough ankles to score enough points to become the NBA’s all-time leader in scoring points off the bench.
“It’s amazing just watching [Lou Williams] play,” Rivers said. “Even tonight, just his pace and his speed. You love that he likes coming off the bench. A lot of players think that if you don’t start that it’s some kind of knock. Lou’s entire career, he’s kind of accepted that role. He’s just a terrific player and a phenomenal leader. He loves the Uncle Lou, ‘old man in the locker room’, thing, and he does a great job with it.”
After scoring 40 points in the Clippers’ recent victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Williams became the No. 2 guy when it comes to points off the bench, knocking Jamal Crawford from that perch. Against Boston, Williams would need 27 points to leapfrog Dell Curry, the father of Golden State Warriors 3-point marksman Stephen Curry, for the top spot.
Well, with those 34 points, Williams finished the night with 11, 154 points, the best scoring production of any player to come of the bench in NBA history.
“That record does [mean something to me],” said Williams. “It’s special. Anytime you can say you have all-time next to your name, no matter what it is, it’s special. With being a sixth-man and being a career bench player, to have the opportunity to have something that says the ‘best ever’, is a special feeling, so tonight was great.”
On paper, what should have been a tough, down-to-the-wire contest between the No. 6 team (Clippers) in the Western Conference and the No. 5 squad (Celtics) in the Eastern Conference, turned into a dud if you are a Boston fan. The contest wound up being a clubbering of the Celtics. Boston shot 48 percent from the field and still lost by 25 points.
The Clippers, on the other hand, converted 61 percent of their shots from the field. Williams shot the ball efficiently, making 14 of the 20 shots he attempted.
“I’m just an old-school hooper,” said Williams. “In the summer time, you can come to Atlanta at my local gym with neighborhood guys or playing in the pro-ams. I just love hooping.”
Boston head coach Brad Stevens said Lou Williams can pretty much do what he wants out on the court.
“Most guys like Lou Williams don’t come off the bench and I think that’s what makes me appreciate it more, is the fact that he can start pretty much anywhere and he can do whatever, but he comes in with four minutes left in the first quarter, doesn’t need to get a rhythm and he’s just ready to hoop,” Stevens said. “I really appreciate that about him and congratulations to him.”