Celtics gut out bounce-back win vs Clippers

Boston Celtics

And if Boston's Marcus Smart hadn't missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, it still wouldn't have been enough for a win because the Los Angeles Lakers couldn't hit their free throws down the stretch. The Celtics should be considered the favorite, but with their struggles as of late it's hard to buy into them at this moment. The Clippers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Wednesday games, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest and 16-6-1 ATS in their last 23 games overall. On Wednesday, Boston was 21-for-22 from the free throw line which was the first time they made more than 20 in a game since their overtime win against Dallas on November 20.

The Celtics need to take advantage of that space, and use Al Horford's ability to pass out of the post more often to get more players at the rim for easy looks.

Russell Westbrook scored 32 points and hit the go-ahead layup with 3.3 seconds remaining as Oklahoma City rallied from a 15-point deficit to edge visiting Brooklyn. Los Angeles was able to tie the game up early on and keep it close.

And the Celtics, who beat the Los Angeles Clippers 113-102, left Ojeleye on the court! But the Lakers had another ending in mind. Sometimes they would not come out of the half well, others they didn't finish.

The last time the Clippers played, they fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves, 126-118. But then Kyle Kuzma went on a mini seven-point run midway through the quarter to give the lead back to the Lakers, 97-91. Instead, the misses left a window open for the Celtics to steal the win. "We could call every time we meet a 'team meeting.' Throughout your professional career, there are going to be times when you are tested. I don't know the full story", Stevens told reporters before the game. I thought it was going in. "And it's just about being professional and going out there and executing". It's just something that we all just have to get better at.

When allowing below 100 points, Los Angeles is 10-2 and Boston is 24-2.

Added the coach: "The only thing was you can't be the one intentionally fouling DeAndre (Jordan)".

Terry Rozier: Boston needed someone to lead the defensive/scoring charge off the bench with Marcus Morris starting and Marcus Smart out.

The Milwaukee Bucks already have a very deep team and are on the verge of a breakout season, although it feels like they're still a couple of steps away from becoming a legit threat in the Eastern Conference and at least make the Conference Finals. It was their third win in a row and their sixth consecutive win at home.

The win saw Boston improve to 35-14 at the top of the East, and ensured they will head into Saturday's marquee match-up against the National Basketball Association champion Golden State Warriors on a winning note.

"I have confidence that those guys that missed them tonight will make them in the future", Walton said after the game (ESPN). "But hopefully we can remedy that sooner rather than later". Boston will try to get back on the right side of the scoreboard when they face the Clippers Wednesday night.

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