Kawhi Leonard and Clippers cannot hold tempo with Celtics in loss

The final time the Clippers confronted Boston, in a victory that lastly outlined their appreciable potential, the Celtics didn’t have the scale to maintain the Clippers out of the paint.

Needing late baskets to finish a comeback Thursday, the Clippers have been denied on the rim, twice, within the ultimate moments.

After a jumper by Kawhi Leonard reduce the result in three with 62 seconds left, a defensive cease by the Clippers arrange Paul George to dribble into the lane on the opposite finish, the quantity quickly speeding out of TD Backyard. Derrick White, a guard, met George as he rose and stuffed George’s shot.

Then with two seconds left, Clippers ahead Marcus Morris Sr. tried a layup with the Clippers down 5 — a shot rejected by Al Horford, a loss sealed.

The Clippers fell to 21-16 after a 116-110 loss to Boston.

Leonard scored 26 factors and George added 24 for the Clippers, who end their five-game street journey Saturday in Indiana.

With every roster at full power, this matchup offered itself as a late-December preview of what would possibly materialize in early June.

The Clippers stayed totally wholesome for half 1 / 4.

An elbow from Celtics guard Derrick White crashed into Reggie Jackson’s nostril, opening a bleeding wound. When the play didn’t end in a foul on White, Jackson confronted lead official Scott Foster earlier than being restrained by teammates and earned a technical within the course of. When he returned, it was with a bandage on his nostril.

Clippers ahead Norman Powell takes a three-point shot in entrance of Boston Celtics guard Payton Pritchard through the first half.

(Charles Krupa / Related Press)

Then, chasing a sequence of Boston passes that whipped the ball across the perimeter for a three-pointer late within the first quarter, Nicolas Batum rolled his left ankle. The one Clipper to have appeared in each sport this season, Batum returned from the locker room with further tape and examined the ankle’s viability throughout a halftime warmup however didn’t play once more till the ultimate two minutes of the third quarter following foul bother to beginning middle Ivica Zubac.

In contrast to through the Clippers’ 20-point win three weeks earlier, Celtics massive males Robert Williams and Al Horford each performed — slicing off the avenues to the paint the Clippers took benefit towards when Blake Griffin began at middle. George took one shot contained in the paint in his first 17 minutes. Leonard had one paint shot within the first quarter and one true rim try in his 18 first-half minutes. After the 6-foot-9 Williams checked in late within the first half, reuniting him in a lineup with the 6-9 Horford, the Clippers didn’t rating a discipline purpose for 2 minutes.

It was their emphasis to constantly assault the rim out of a timeout, dealing with a 13-point deficit that was their largest of the night time, that started a surge that carried into the second half, an 11-point halftime deficit remodeled right into a one-point lead after Paul George’s three-pointer halfway by means of the third quarter.

Lue turned to his starters for a lot of the night time, even plugging Jackson again into the lineup with 6:46 to play, trailing by three, although considered one of Jackson’s ankles had been rolled on prime of by a Celtic earlier within the sport. The autumn left Jackson with a substantial limp. The rotation selections meant Luke Kennard performed 16 minutes — his final stint ending when the Celtics frequently focused him on protection, clearly seeing his matchup as one on which they might rating, often with Brown. Terance Mann additionally performed 5 minutes, none after halftime.