Kawhi Leonard and Clippers cannot sustain with Celtics losses

When the Clippers final confronted Boston, the Celtics did not have the scale to maintain the Clippers out of competition in a win that lastly showcased their appreciable potential.

The Clippers wanted late baskets to finish a comeback on Thursday and have been sidelined twice within the last moments.

After a jumper by Kawhi Leonard lower the result in three with 62 seconds left, a defensive cease by the Clippers prompted Paul George to dribble down the lane on the different finish, with the amount rapidly storming out of TD Backyard. Derrick White, a safety guard, met George as he stood up and stopped George’s shot.

Then, with two seconds left, Clippers ahead Marcus Morris Sr. tried a layup with the Clippers at 5 – a shot disallowed by Al Horford, a defeat 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 ended their five-game street journey Saturday in Indiana.

With each roster at full energy, this matchup introduced itself as a late December preview of what might occur in early June.

The Clippers stayed completely wholesome for half 1 / 4.

Celtics guard Derrick White’s elbow 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 struggling a technical within the course of. When he got here again it was with a bandage on its nostril.

Clippers forward Norman Powell shoots three points ahead of Boston Celtics' Payton Pritchard.

Clippers ahead Norman Powell scores a three-point shot forward of Boston Celtics guard Payton Pritchard within the first half.

(Charles Krupa/Related Press)

Then late within the first quarter, Nicolas Batum chased after a collection of Boston passes that whipped the ball across the perimeter for a three-pointer and curled his left ankle. Batum, the one clipper to look in each recreation this season, returned from the dressing room with additional tape and examined ankle viability throughout a half-time warm-up, however solely performed within the last two minutes of the third quarter after a nasty begin Heart Ivica Zubac.

Not like the Clippers’ 20-point win three weeks earlier, the Celtics’ huge males Robert Williams and Al Horford each performed – and lower paths to the colours, which the Clippers took benefit of when Blake Griffin began down the center. George made a shot within the paint within the first 17 minutes. Leonard had a malshot within the first quarter and an actual rim attempt in his 18 minutes of the primary half. After the 6-foot-9 Williams checked in late within the first half and reunited him in a lineup with the 6-9 Horford, the Clippers went two minutes and not using a subject objective.

It was their emphasis on persistently attacking the rim from a time-out, with a 13-point deficit that was their widest of the night, that began a surge that continued into the second half, turning an 11-point halftime deficit into one. Factors clear after Paul George’s three-pointer halfway by way of the third quarter.

Lue turned to his starters for many of the evening, even pinning Jackson again into the lineup with 6:46 to play, three down, regardless of one in every of Jackson’s ankles having been rolled over by a Celtic early within the recreation. The autumn left Jackson with a substantial limp. The rotation choices meant Luke Kennard performed 16 minutes – his final stint ended when the Celtics continuously focused him on protection and clearly noticed his matchup as one they might rating, often with Brown. Terance Mann additionally performed 5 minutes, none after halftime.