Undermanned Clippers send Celtics to third straight loss
Marcus Morris Sr. finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds against his former team to lead the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers past the host Boston Celtics in a 91-82 victory on Wednesday night.
Luke Kennard, Eric Bledsoe and Terance Mann added 17 points apiece for Los Angeles, which had lost two straight and five of its previous six games.
Jaylen Brown had a game-high 30 points on 13-of-36 shooting for the Celtics. Robert Williams III added 16 points and 14 rebounds before exiting in the fourth quarter with an apparent head injury.
Boston suffered a third straight defeat and its eighth in 11 games. The Celtics shot 34.7 percent (35-of-101) from the field and made just 4-of-42 3-pointers (9.5 percent).
The Clippers also defeated the Celtics 114-111 in their first meeting on Dec. 8 in Los Angeles.
Got the job done.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) December 30, 2021
Los Angeles was without its two stars as Kawhi Leonard (ACL tear recovery) and Paul George (torn ligament in right elbow) remain sidelined. Reggie Jackson, Brandon Boston Jr., Moses Wright and Jay Scrubb also did not play for the Clippers in COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Boston played without star Jayson Tatum and starting guard Marcus Smart. Tatum missed his second straight game in COVID protocols while Smart was sidelined with a right hand laceration.
Celtics reserves Dennis Schroder, Enes Freedom, Aaron Nesmith, Bruno Fernando and CJ Miles were also sidelined in the protocol.
Los Angeles was up 47-40 at halftime after leading by as many as 10 in the opening half. Boston had led by as many as six in the second quarter before the Clippers closed the period on a 19-6 surge.
Morris’ jumper with 8:38 left in the third had L.A. up 55-45 before the Celtics rallied to tie it at 57 late in the quarter. Boston reclaimed the lead early in the fourth and led 74-73 after Brown’s layup with 8:07 remaining.
Bledsoe’s ensuing bucket with 6:33 to play put the Clippers back in front for good as L.A. closed out the win.
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