With Rajon Rondo at the line shooting two free throws with one second to play in a tie game, it looked like the C's ballgame to win. Rondo had two chances to ice the victory and send the Clippers home — but not only did he miss both, but the Clippers got the ball back for the final second.
Off an inbounds pass from Chris Kaman, Baron Davis drained a 22-foot jumper from the left wing, shocking the Celtics by completing a come-from-behind victory with a buzzer-beater to win the game. Kaman finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds, Davis had 24 and 13 assists, and the Clippers snapped Boston's three-game winning streak.
Rajon Rondo led the Celtics' losing effort with 18 points, while Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen added 12 and 11, respectively. Garnett and Tony Allen each had seven rebounds.
Final: Clippers 92, Celtics 90.
Rondo keeps it himself for the final possession, opting to drive to the
basket and take matters into his own hands. He doesn't get a good look,
but he draws a controversial foul called against Baron Davis. He then
gets to the free throw line with one second left and a chance to ice
the win — but he misses both free throws. The Clips get it back for
that final second, and Davis gets one last shot at winning the
ballgame. The rest is history.
Fourth quarter, 8.5 seconds, 90-90: That might have been the biggest shot of Rasual Butler's life. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a tie ballgame on our hands.
Fourth quarter, 37.8 seconds to play, 90-87 C's: With
50 seconds remaining, Kevin Garnett makes a crucial deflection of a
pass from Eric Gordon, tipping it to Tony Allen and giving the Celtics
the basketball, forcing L.A. to foul. The Celtics are now in good
shape, with a three-point lead and the ball in the waning seconds.
Fourth quarter, 1:50, 90-86 C's: Heading
down the home stretch, and the Celtics have managed to get back to a
four-point advantage. Tony Allen makes a huge play defensively with
just over two minutes to play, reaching in to swipe the ball from Baron
Davis and take it coast to coast for a layup. Boston by four with less
than two minutes left.
Fourth quarter, 4:01, 86-84 C's: Eddie
House continues to pace the Celtics offensively, but he's also getting
himself into trouble for jawing, and making some antagonizing hand
gestures, at the officials. Baron Davis makes the free throw after the
House technical, and Chris Kaman then gets the ball, misses a layup,
and puts back his own rebound. Kaman now has 25 points and 11 rebounds
to pace the Clippers.
Fourth quarter, 6:33, 81-76 C's: For
just the third time this month, Rasheed Wallace has multiple assists in
a single game. Wallace hits Eddie House at the top of the key, and
House connects on a long two — the Celtics widen their lead to five,
and more importantly, they follow that up with a couple of stops. Tony
Allen has been huge in keeping the Clippers off the offensive glass —
he now has a season-high seven rebounds, and the C's
are still out in front.
Fourth quarter, 8:30, 79-76 C's: After Craig Smith
makes a driving layup, draws a rebound on the defensive end, and feeds
Telfair who draws a foul from Glen Davis, it's time for a timeout.
Still only a three-point game, and the Celtics are having trouble
pulling away with this thing.
Fourth quarter, 10:02, 77-74 C's: The
Clips make it a one-point game on the first bucket of the night from
Sebastian Telfair, but the Celtics come right back. Another running
jumper from Glen Davis makes it 77-74 in favor of the C's, who continue
to bring it offensively. A couple of stops from here, and they'll
really be in the driver's seat.
End of third quarter, 73-69 C's: The
Celtics are now starting to let up defensively. A 6-0 L.A. run is all
it takes to make this a game again — Chris Kaman gets to the basket
time and time again against a front line of Wallace, Glen Davis and Brian Scalabrine,
and he produces five unanswered points to make this thing close. Big
Baby then answers with a sweet hook shot to make it a four-point game
again — but given the way this half started, that's still a little too
close for comfort. Some defensive fortitude will be needed to put this
win away for Boston.
Third quarter, 1:57, 71-63 C's: The
Clippers are starting to run out of steam — they're settling for
jumpers on offense, struggling to find open looks or opportunities to
drive, and they're hacking on D. Rondo continues to get the best of the
Clips' defense — he now has 18 points and six assists, and the C's are
Third quarter, 5:31, 65-55 C's: The
Celtics are starting to beat the Clippers with their ball movement —
the Clips are a little too tired to hang with the C's passing game, and
the Celtics move the ball well and make the extra pass to create
scoring opportunities. A nice Rondo-to-Allen-to-Perk rotation creates
an easy bucket and returns the Boston lead to double digits.
Third quarter, 7:02, 63-54 C's: Kendrick
Perkins sinks a short jumper to give the Celtics the first double-digit
lead of the game, and after Davis bounces back with a layup to give
himself 17 points for the night, Perk draws a foul and sinks a free
throw to make it a nine-point game again. Chris Kaman and Ray Allen
then trade jumpers — both teams are starting to relax defensively, and
we're swapping baskets at this point.
Third quarter, 9:14, 58-50 C's: Rajon
Rondo comes roaring out of the gate for the second half, notching a
pair of driving layups and giving himself a team-high 14 points on
7-of-12 shooting. The Celtics have really come to life offensively, and
they're threatening to turn this once-close game into a runaway.
Halftime, 48-46 C's: After Chris Kaman ties it up with a jumper with a minute and a half to play, Ray Allen buries another jumper of his own to give the Celtics another lead. The C's
close out the half strong, getting a pair of good stops against the
Clippers' shooters, and they'll head into the break on a high note, out
in front by a bucket. After the dreadful second-quarter stretch that dashed their early lead, they'll surely take it.
Second quarter, 1:37, 46-44 C's: KG is indeed coming to life — first
a jumper off the backboard and in, then a steal and a give-and-go for
another jumper. Ray Allen then tacks on a score of his own, and the
Celtics are back in front. So much for the Clippers surging back into
Second quarter, 2:49, 42-40 Clips: Two sighs of relief for the
Celtics: one, the Clippers' 12-0 run is interrupted at the 3:03 mark;
and two, it's broken up by Kevin Garnett, who draws a foul from Jordan
and gets to the line for two shots, finally erasing the goose egg next
to his name on the scoreboard. If Garnett an actually find a rhythm and
get the Celtics going offensively, this L.A. hot streak might become a
thing of the past.
Second quarter, 4:09, 38-38: The Clippers are staging a comeback here toward the end of the first half — first Rasual Butler converts
on a short jumper, then Baron Davis draws a Rondo foul and hits two
shots, and next Perk is called for illegal defense and Davis hits the
foul shot. The Clips then get a three-on-two opportunity in transition
off a DeAndre Jordan steal, and Eric Gordon ends up open for a
three-pointer from the wing. Suddenly, we're all tied up.
Second quarter, 6:39, 38-30 C's: Glen Davis has come off
the bench and found his groove in the second quarter — with four
straight points, he's given the Celtics an eight-point lead for the
first time tonight. Davis is doing what he does best — crashing the
offensive boards with enthusiasm and creating scoring opportunities
down low. Davis has four points and four rebounds, and Boston leads
Second quarter, 8:18, 32-28 C's: He may be a liability
defensively, letting Rondo blow by him with ease, but Baron Davis
continues to light the Celtics up with his driving, slashing, scoring
mentality. A bucket from Davis, now 3-for-3 from the floor, puts the
Clips within one, but Eddie House widens the gap again — first
making a technical free throw after L.A. is called for illegal defense,
then making a layup to give Boston a four-point lead.
Second quarter, 9:48, 27-24 C's: It's becoming clear that the Celtics have found a mismatch between Rasheed Wallace and Clippers power forward Brian Skinner.
The outside shot isn't clicking for Sheed, but he is able to score at
will over Skinner by using his height and length to loft jumpers over
him. Sheed and Rondo have combined to score the Celtics' last 10 points.
End of first quarter, 23-22 C's: With one quarter in the books,
it appears that the only aggressive offensive player wearing a green
uniform is Rajon Rondo. Rondo drives the lane and puts up a little sky
hook at the buzzer to give the Celtics the lead again, and it's 23-22
at the break. Rondo has 10 points and three assists. But the rest of
the team is shooting a combined 5-for-15 and generally not getting good
looks at the basket. Hate to single out Kevin Garnett, but the Big
Ticket is the only scoreless starter on either team, going 0-for-3 from
First quarter, 2:01, 18-17 Clips: Tony Allen is making a big
impact in the first quarter in Pierce's stead — first he makes a nice
heads-up play on the defensive end to break up an aggressive entry pass
from Mardy Collins, and then back on the other end of the
floor, he scores off a nice assist under the basket from Rondo. But the
Clips come roaring back — Gordon hits two free throws, Kaman tips in a
teammate's miss, and Al Thornton has his first bucket of the game off an assist from Kaman at the 2:01 mark. L.A. is back in the lead.
First quarter, 4:04, 13-12 C's: Rasheed Wallace enters for the
first time, and he immediately makes his presence known by jacking up a
25-footer and rimming it out. Since a Rondo layup at the 5:03 mark gave
the Celtics the lead, we've seen six straight scoreless possessions.
First quarter, 5:38, 12-11 Clips: With Davis now on the bench in early foul trouble and former Celtic Sebastian Telfair
on the floor on his place, the Clips lose a little bit of firepower
offensively. Telfair's first two possessions: first a terrible pass
that falls directly into Kevin Garnett's hands for a clean steal, and second a loose-ball foul for hacking Garnett in the act of going after a Chris Kaman rebound. A three from Ray Allen brings the C's back, and it's a one-point game.
First quarter, 7:08, 12-8 Clips: Again, the C's get burned on the defensive end — Eric Gordon
takes off from the top of the key and simply drives past everyone,
getting to the hole for a thunderous dunk. L.A. has the upper hand
early on against the Paul Pierce-less Celtics.
First quarter, 8:48, 10-6 Clips: Even Rondo is hard-pressed to contain the athleticism of the Clippers' Baron Davis.
The Clips' point guard, who got L.A. on the board in its first
possession, comes back and drives by Rondo a couple of times here in
the game's fourth minute, first creating an opportunity for a DeAndre Jordan jumper and then draining a a driving layup himself.
First quarter, 10:30, 4-4: We're underway, and it's a good first couple of minutes for Rajon Rondo
at the point for Boston. Rondo gets the C's on the board with a driving
layup on the team's second possession, and next time down the floor, he
makes a nice dump to Kendrick Perkins for two points of his own. We're knotted up early on.
4:09 p.m.: With Christmas behind them, the Celtics hit the road this week for a three-game West Coast road swing.
It starts at the Staples Center, but against the lesser of the two L.A. squads. Up first on Sunday night is a matchup with the Clippers, who are sitting in fourth place in the midst of their fourth consecutive losing season. The C's head next to Golden State and then Phoenix to round out three games in three cities on four days — but at the moment, they're focused solely on the present. Beating the Clips first is the task at hand.