LOS ANGELES (Sporting Alert) — Five Los Angeles Clippers players scored in double figures, but the team almost blew a big lead in their 102-93 victory over the Boston Celtics at STAPLES Center on Monday evening.
Blake Griffin shot 50-percent from the field in scoring 22 points, while pulling down nine rebounds and dishing out six assists for the LA Clippers (28-14), who were 47.6 percent as a team from the floor.
DeAndre Jordan had 19 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks, with J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford each contributing 16 points in the win,.
Brandon Bass led the Celtics with 17 points off the bench, Marcus Thornton hit 3 of his 6 three-point attempts to add 15 in a reserve role as well, while Marcus Smart, who went 4-of-7 from 3-point range ended with 14 points and seven assists in the defeat.
Los Angeles Clippers raced out to an 11-2 lead early in the first half and went into the halftime break ahead 47-37.
The hosts then extended their advantage to as many as 23 points with 4:13 left in the third quarter, but Boston made a run in the fourth quarter to cut the gap to just three points with 3:49 left before Doc Rivers’ side held on for the win.
Star point guard Chris Paul, who was limited to just nine points and six assists in the game, was happy with the win, but disappointed with the way the Clippers allowed Boston back into the game.
“We shouldn’t have let these guys back into the game,” Paul said. “The good thing is we were able to hold them off.”
Meanwhile, Boston also got useful contributions as well from Jared Sullinger, who scored 14 points and eight rebounds.
Evan Turner contributed a double-double of 10 points and 10 boards for the Celtics (13-26), which dropped three straight and five of the last six.
“We can’t be down by that much. We took a lot of contested shots in the first half, and that’s not good,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said after the defeat.
“We were better in the second half. We closed it to three, but we missed a couple of good looks down the stretch.”
Boston was losing for the fourth time in the last five matchups with the Clippers, who improved to 4-1 against them during the series.
Clippers will play host to the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night, while the Celtics are at the Portland Trail Blazers on the same night.