Clippers win again
LOS ANGELES—The L.A. Clippers came roaring out of the opening tip and kept on going to their 15th-consecutive victory.
Boosted by an early 24-9 lead their starters provided, L.A. dumped Boston 106-77 last night to become the first team to win that many in a row since the Celtics four years ago.
They haven’t had a close win during the streak since Nov. 28, when they beat Minnesota by six points.
“Shows we have a lot of depth,” said Paul. “I’ve probably sat out more fourth quarters this season than any of my previous seven seasons.
“It’s a really good feeling now, a good vibe because everyone is enjoying it.”
Blake Griffin had 15 points, Caron Butler added 14, and Lamar Odom had 13 rebounds to help the Clippers improve the NBA’s best record to 23-6.
“Some people may be impressed by the record, but we can’t be,” Paul stressed.
“We’re not measured by our regular-season wins.”
“We want to be winning in April, May, and June,” agreed Griffin.
Kevin Garnett scored 16 points for Boston, which committed 18 turnovers and never led in dropping to .500 at 14-14 with its fifth loss in seven games.
Paul Pierce and Jeff Green added 12 points each to go with 10 apiece from Jason Terry and Rajon Rondo.
Boston’s winning streak extended to 19 games in 2008-09.
“Every individual on our team wanted to beat them and every individual tried to do it by themselves instead of just playing our game,” noted Celtics’ coach Doc Rivers.
It was the Clippers’ largest-ever win against Boston, coming six years to the day of their previous largest—a 100-77 win back on Dec. 27, 2006.
“I thought we came out with too much respect,” Garnett said. “We wanted to back off some of their bigs and Blake hit some shots that he doesn’t usually hit.
“They came out with a lot of confidence and they packed the paint, and that is the reason why have won 15 in a row.
“They had us on our heels all night,” he added.
Barnes had the Clippers’ first five points in a 9-0 run that opened the fourth quarter and boosted their lead to 90-67.
Willie Green briefly played; otherwise the Clippers’ other starters rested to close out the game.
The Celtics were held to 10 points in the final 12 minutes.
“We just want to continue to build good habits,” Barnes said.
“We jumped on them early and didn’t let them have any breathing room.”
Oklahoma City beat Dallas 111-105 (OT) in the only other NBA game yesterday.