March 4, 2024

Celtics

Boston shot 25 of 53 from 3-point vary (47.2%) within the victory.

Jayson Tatum prevented an damage scare within the second quarter. (AP Photograph/Eric Thayer) AP

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 30 factors, Jaylen Brown added 24 and the Boston Celtics kicked off their Christmas weekend in Southern California with a 145-108 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

Jrue Vacation had 20 factors and 7 assists because the Celtics shot 25 of 53 from 3-point vary (47.2%) to win for the seventh time in eight video games and for the tenth time in 12 video games.

“I feel once we get out into the open courtroom, we’re a reasonably powerful crew with the kind of firepower and the offensive capacity we have now on this crew,” mentioned Vacation, a Los Angeles-area native who might be residence at Christmas for the primary time in his NBA profession. “We’ve got shooters, we have now guys who can penetrate and make performs. As soon as we make stops and get the rebound, we’re pushing as shortly as potential and it’s to our profit.”

Boston shot 52.1% total in the identical enviornment the place it is going to play a Christmas Day rivalry showdown in opposition to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Regardless of the spectacular displaying in opposition to a budding energy within the Western Convention within the Clippers, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla downplayed the victory.

“I don’t take into account it an announcement win,” Mazzulla mentioned. “I take into account it a win (and) a possibility the place we performed properly and proceed to determine the place we didn’t play properly. We left quite a bit on the desk so far as our execution and the issues we need to accomplish.”

Paul George scored 21 factors and James Harden added 14 factors and 10 assists because the Clippers had been with out Kawhi Leonard for a second consecutive recreation as a consequence of a left hip contusion. Los Angeles has misplaced each video games following a nine-game win streak.

Ivica Zubac had 16 factors and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, who had been taking part in the primary of 4 straight residence video games.

“We had been examined quite a bit,” Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue mentioned when requested about his protection. “They lead the league in 3-point makes an attempt and all of their guys can shoot them. Coming into the sport, we mentioned it. Even whenever you suppose they’re not going to shoot it, they’re going to shoot it.”

The Celtics held a 28-21 lead after one quarter, whereas setting the tone for the sport with 18 makes an attempt from 3-point vary and making six. Boston’s taking pictures picked up within the second quarter. The Celtics went 9 of 15 (60%) from lengthy distance whereas taking a 68-51 lead into the break.

Tatum prevented an damage scare within the second quarter and completed off a four-point play within the course of when he made a 3-pointer with 4:19 remaining within the first half earlier than rolling his left ankle when he stepped on the foot of Kobe Brown. He made the following free throw for a 59-40 lead.

Boston elevated its result in 92-62 with 5:01 remaining within the third quarter on a pair of free throws from Tatum and cruised from there.

Turning protection into offensive alternatives has allowed the Celtics to attain simply shy of 300 factors during the last two video games, with out the good thing about additional time. If not an announcement recreation, is that this the perfect the Celtics have performed of late?

“I feel so, however not due to the factors however due to the execution,” Mazzulla mentioned. “I do like the truth that we’re growing a fast-paced identification and never turning it over. I feel at occasions previously, we’ve performed quick however turned it over so we’re discovering steadiness of tempo and execution.”

Neemias Queta had 14 factors and 12 rebounds for the Celtics, who outrebounded the Clippers 60-39. Boston’s Derrick White scored 18 factors after averaging 29 factors over the earlier two video games.

With out Leonard as the point of interest at each ends of the ground, the Clippers shot 46.1% from the ground and went 11 of 34 (32.4%) from 3-point vary. Daniel Theis scored 15 factors for Los Angeles, whereas Brandon Boston Jr. had 13 and Russell Westbrook 12.

“Hopefully we’re again wholesome and see what the takeaways had been from the final two video games and go from there,” George mentioned of the Clippers shifting ahead after consecutive defeats. “We’re in a fantastic spot. We had been profitable up till the 2 losses. … It doesn’t derail us from the place we’re headed and the place we’re making an attempt to get to.”

The Celtics had been with out Kristaps Porzingis (left ankle sprain) for the third time in 5 video games.

UP NEXT

Celtics: On the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday.

Clippers: Host the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday.