Celtics surge past Warriors in fourth quarter

The Boston bigs were the difference.

With the Boston Celtics in town this week, Doc Rivers had the opportunity to reflect on his tenure with the team he guided to a pair of NBA Finals. They bodied up the Clippers.

They emerged from the period with just a 28-25 deficit, and they had to be grateful for the proximity after the way their night began.

Then the Clippers got mad.

Evan Meredith of Oakland hit four 3-pointers during a third-quarter timeout to win a new KIA auto. Once the fourth quarter came around, Steve Kerr opened the window for them.

The national media attempted to make a huge deal out of this of course.

Tonight, Paul Pierce will most likely not be in the starting lineup.

Then they settled into the lead. This is especially true with Isaiah Thomas being one of the hottest 4th quarter players in the league.

The easy kudos go to Jamal, who produced his second vintage performance in a row. Besides that impressive win nearly a week ago, the Celtics have clearly been struggling.

It's in the second Celtics team Rivers coached to the Finals, in 2010, that he sees some comparisons to his current Clippers team.

Ray also excelled, giving the team a desperately needed dose of rim-attacking aggression, even after taking a hard fall and scary knock on his head. Not to be outdone, he'd come running down the court on a two-for-one attempt two possessions later to nail a deep three at the top of the break, finishing the quarter scoring 9 points in just 1:09 of game time while setting the Staples Center crowd ablaze. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul have been injured for large chunks of time and the Clippers have fallen to fifth in the Western Conference. CP turned it over (5) more than he assisted (4), but scored 23 and snatched 3 steals.

Green had a team-high eight rebounds to go with 13 points for the Warriors, who had won 10 straight at home and had been unbeaten (8-0) against Atlantic Division teams this season. Remember, defense leads to offense. Late in the first half, the Celtics intentionally fouled Jordan when they had the lead.

Now Boston will wake up Tuesday with the Wizards just 1.5 games back and the Cavaliers three games in front. All that was left was the kill shot. There was one sequence on Boston's run in which Bradley pickd up Curry at midcourt and, when Curry lost his dribble trying to go behind his back, Olynyk swooped in to rip the ball away.

The Celtics were scheduled to stay in Los Angeles on Monday night. "And at that point in time, I heard from Isaiah pretty quickly". The Celtics lost 109-106 at Phoenix on Sunday when Suns rookie G Tyler Ulis hit a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The Clippers have never advanced beyond the second round. This was a brutal game, particularly in the first half, full of post-ups and isolations and looking very much like a throwback to slower-paced days.

The Warriors (52-11), meanwhile, won two straight to conclude what had been a troublesome Eastern swing.

  • Julie Sanders