The Boston Celtics entered Monday night time with one of the best document, and greatest offense, within the NBA, however they have been totally outplayed in a 113-93 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers have been a little bit of an afterthought to this point this season due to a number of harm points, however with the win over Boston they reminded the league simply how harmful they are often when at full power.
The Clippers compelled 15 Boston turnovers, and held the Celtics to simply 23 p.c taking pictures from lengthy vary. They gained the rebounding battle 46-36, outscored the Celtics 14-1 in transition and snapped their league-best streak of 100-point video games that dated again to final season.
In what was their most spectacular victory of the 12 months, the Clippers have been led by Kawhi Leonard, who had his greatest sport after lacking final season. In 29 minutes, Leonard compiled 25 factors, 9 rebounds and 6 assists — all season highs. He additionally shot an especially environment friendly 10 of 12 from the ground, and seems to be progressing properly after lacking time earlier this season as a consequence of knee soreness and an ankle sprain. With the win, the Clippers moved to 6-1 on the season when Leonard begins. They’re 10-12 in all different video games.
Overall, the Clippers go as Kawhi goes, so him beginning to spherical into kind is a promising signal for them. Leonard did not pull out the win over Boston by himself, although. Paul George added 25 factors, six rebounds and three assists. While Celtics begins Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been broadly acknowledged because the league’s greatest perimeter tandem this season, that distinction belonged to Leonard and George on Monday night time.
The Clippers entered the season with championship aspirations, and people desires will stay very a lot nonetheless alive — so so long as they will keep wholesome. At full power, the Clippers have one of many deepest and most proficient groups within the league.
They have elite wing play in Leonard and George, stable guard play from Reggie Jackson, Norman Powell and John Wall, and a flexible frontcourt consisting of Marcus Morris, Ivica Zubac and Nicolas Batum. Overall, they’re one of many few groups that may match up with Boston bodily and athletically, and that was clearly evident Monday night time.
The incapacity to get all of their guys out on the court docket collectively has been what has held the Clippers again from reaching their ceiling in recent times, however they need to hope that will not be their undoing this season. If they will keep away from any main harm points, they may have an actual probability to advance deep into the playoffs.
The loss was the second straight for Boston, nevertheless it’s removed from panic time for the Celtics. They’re on the final leg of an prolonged highway journey, and have been with out Al Horford in each losses. Horford has been serving because the crew’s beginning middle in Robert Williams’ absence. Williams has but to play this season as he continues to recuperate from knee surgical procedure. Williams’ absence makes Boston’s robust begin to the season moreover spectacular. The Celtics simply have to ensure they do not take their foot off of the gasoline, they usually’ll look to bounce again towards the Lakers in Los Angeles on Tuesday night time.
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