Boston goes for 27, Clippers outlast Celtics

LOS ANGELES (News4usonline) – Hidden gems. Tyronn Lue and the Los Angeles Clippers always seem to find them. Last year it was Terance Mann. Rookie Brandon Boston Jr. might be that diamond in the rough the Clippers have this season.

Drafted by the Clippers with the 51st pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Boston has the spent most of his time shuffling between playing on the NBA level or getting suited and booted in the G League. And so before the Clipprers played the Boston Celtics at Staples Center, Boston hadn’t done much to contribute, scoring just 4.5 points in 12 games.

With Paul George failing to suit up against the Celtics, Lue needed one of his players to take on PG13’s leading role with Kawhi Leonard still on the mend. Boston decided he would throw his hat in the ring. Making 7 of his 8 field goal attempts in the first half, Boston scored 18 points on his way to a career-high 27 points to lead the Clippers to a 114-111 win Wednesday night.

“Brandon coming off the bench gave us a huge spark shooting the basketball,” Lue said. “Luke [Luke Kennard] made some timely shots down the stretch as well. They really played well together. Like I said, [Eric Bledsoe] came in off the bench and it was a huge boost that last five and a half minutes of the game, but Brandon’s scoring off the bench I think really propelled us to this win.”

Boston had it going so well through the first two quarters that he closed out the half making a long-distant 3-point heave just before the buzzer sounded.

“I knew [Marcus Morris Sr.] was going to throw it to me because he always gets me right with the ball,” Boston said. “I took one dribble to look how much time was on the clock to my left, so as I took that dribble I looked up. I saw
one second left, I saw okay I have enough time to turn around, so I turned around and just let it go.”

It turns out the Clippers needed all of Boston’s 27 points to beat back the Celtics, which went 0-2 against both Los Angeles teams on their West Coast trip. With Boston scoring 18 of his first half points in the seond quarter, the Clippers erupted to score 39 in the period, taking a 63-51 lead into the locker room.

The Clippers eventually stretched that lead to 21 early in the third quarter, but then the Celtics began making a run. The Celtics outscored the Clippers in the third quarter and then dropped 33 points on the home team in the final period to send out some nervous waves.

However, it wasn’t enough for the C’s to overcome that 16-point differential gap in the second quarter. The Celtics losing this game was a matter of sloppiness with the ball. Thanks to some tough defense by the Clippers, the Celtics committed 22 turnovers, something that forward Jayson Tatum was not too happy about.

“I think that’s on us,” said Tatum, who scored a game-high 29 points to go along with the 10 rebounds he collected. “We got to be tougher and take care of the ball. I think in a lot of areas we beat ourselves, especially in that area. Obviously they played well, they hit shots but 23 turnovers, that’s unacceptable.”

Tatum, who turned the ball over six times himself, went on to say that the Celtics need to be more consistent with their play.

“I think sometimes we dig ourselves in a hole and then as you see halfway through the third and the fourth quarter we play a lot faster, we lock in defensively, we do what we need to do,” Tatum remarked. “By then a couple of the guys on their team are feeling good about themselves, so some of those possessions we will be flying around, we are doing the right things but we get an unlucky bounce and they get a shot to go in.”

Things got tight in that fourth quarter because the Clippers got a bit sloppy themselves. With the Celtics bringing the defensive heat, the Clippers committed eight of their 20 turnovers in the period.

“Yeah, there was great pressure,” Mann said. “Normally in the NBA you don’t get pressured that much, that often so we
hadn’t seen that in a while. So I would say it caught us off guard.”

Featured Image Caption: LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 08: Los Angeles Clippers Guard Brandon Boston Jr. (4) celebrates during a NBA game between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Clippers on December 8, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)