Los Angeles 119 Boston 106
At the end of the first quarter, L.A. was up 34-20. That set the tone for the rest of the game. Boston won a lopsided fourth quarter 27-14, but the damage had already been done. The Clips were firmly in control all night, surmounting at one point a lead as high as 25 Points.
The good news for Boston is Isaiah is getting back to normal. He finished with 19 Points and 7 Assists in 27 Minutes. He was 9/10 shooting free throws, but a paltry 4/12 from the Field. Even more surprising, the bench had three other guys in double-figures: Kelly (14), Gigi (12) and Jonas (10). The only starters in double-figures were Zeller (16) and Bass (13). Judging by these numbers, the Cs did a good job addressing the ball movement issues that have plagued them over the last two games. They even had fewer turnovers than the Clips (10 vs. 12).
But that’s about it. L.A. beasted on the boards (53-40), and made five more three-pointers than Boston. Look no further than J.J. Redick, who was a lights out 5/6 from distance. J.J. notwithstanding, the whole Clippers starting unit was on fire and dominated Boston.
After the game Isaiah suggested the Cs need to get in the habit of “punching first.” The sentiment may be right; we always hear about Boston mounting a big comeback, never crushing opponents from the get-go.
However, some of the trouble-making members of the media took the time to twist his words into a plea to start. Talking about his starting status is supposed to be avoided. One of the reasons Isaiah was dealt out of Phoenix was a supposed mounting frustration over coming off the bench. Since arriving in Boston he’s kept it cordial and is saying all the right things, but the more reporters stir the pot, the more of an issue it’s going to become.
I, for one, am not to keen on getting him into the starting lineup. He and Marcus combine for a very effective offense/defense tag-team. Not to mention, these past few games he’s been shooting quite inefficiently. Yes, he puts up 20 Points a game, but on wildly inefficient clips. Shooting 4/12 should not be rewarded with a starting spot.
The Cs are wavering down this very important final stretch. Recently, Avery has been quiet offensively and Marcus is struggling. Everyone needs to show up.
These next three games are going to have pivotal impacts on the playoff race. Stay tuned.
Charlotte on Monday.
Homer Johnsen is a freelance writer and ticket broker for the Boston Celtics players. He once secured twenty tickets for Ricky Davis’ extended family in 2006. His Celtics analyses and ticket FAQs are available right here on HeresTheDealLikeShaquille.