For tonight, the Celtics were short Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart and they beat one of the best teams in the NBA. Yes, to be fair the Clippers were without Paul George and Patrick Beverley, but it was still a very impressive win by the Celtics. It was a battle between Kawhi Leonard and Jayson Tatum, 2 superstars in the NBA and it did not disappoint. The Celtics ultimately came out on top, beating the Clippers 119-115 in a great matchup.
On the Clippers side, they started the game off extremely hot from the field and at the end of the first half, they were shooting 60% from the field. In the second half they were not as efficient, but they still finished the game shooting an amazing 51% from the field. On the glass, they owned Boston, outrebounded them but 13. One of the things that cost the Clippers were the 16 turnovers they committed compared to the 7 Boston committed. With Paul George out, Kawhi needed to step up and he did just that. He did miss a couple of jumpers at the end of the game, but he still was the best player on the Clippers tonight. His playmaking was outstanding and for most of the night, he got whatever he wanted on the offensive end. He finished the game with 28 points on 8-19 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds and 5 assists. Lou Williams has not really been the Lou Williams we are used to seeing this season, but tonight he looked like the 3 time 6th man of the year award winner. He was second on the team in scoring with 18 points on an efficient 6-10 shooting and also registered 6 assists. He made some pretty clutch baskets down the stretch for the Clippers to keep them in the game. Ivica Zubac, who I think is one of the most underrated centers in the game, played pretty good off the bench with a 14 and 6 game. Nicolas Batum and Marcus Morris were both very good tonight and made the shots when they needed to.
Boston was coming off a pretty tough loss to the Kings and when Jaylen Brown was announced out for this game, not many people gave the Celtics a legit chance. In the first half, it looked like ultimately the doubts were true and the Celtics were headed towards a blowout. They were trailing 62-51 at half and their defense seemed to be nonexistent. The 2nd half came around and the Celtics just started to play some pretty great basketball. They outscore the Clippers 38-20 in the 3rd quarter and ultimately that was the difference in the game. Jayson Tatum played amazing for the Celtics tonight. His stat line was 34 points on 12-27 shooting (5-10 from 3), 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 4 steals. He definitely deserves to be an all star this year. Kemba Walker started off pretty cold in the 1st half, but in the 2nd half he looked like the cardiac Kemba that we all know and love. The 24 points he scored tonight were a season high and so were his 32 minutes played. Arguably the biggest story of the night for the Celtics was the play of Carsen Edwards. He was terrific tonight and Brad Stevens even said that the Celtics probably wouldn’t have won that game if it wasn’t for Carsen. He had 16 points on 5-8 shooting and 3-5 from 3. If he can keep up this production, it will be a major boost for this Celtics team. Grant Williams, Tristan Thompson, and Robert Williams each played their roles extremely well tonight. Semi Ojeleye did not do much on the offensive end tonight, but he had some pretty great defense down the stretch which helped Boston win this game. The Celtics had 6 players in double figures tonight. Payton Pritchard came back and played great, but Daniel Theis left tonight’s game with a sore knee.
Do not be mistaken by the title. The Celtics need Jaylen Brown in order to reach the ultimate goal of banner 18. Tonight, they survived against one of the best teams in the NBA and this win should be a major confidence booster. Let’s see if they can build off of this win as they face the Suns in Phoenix on Super Bowl Sunday morning. Very impressive and great win tonight by the Celtics!
@ Phoenix Suns, Sunday, February 7th at 11:00AM Pacific
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