NBA Basketball

115
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Boston 19 30 36 30 115
LA Clippers 25 37 39 39 140
140
7:30 PM PT8:30 PM MT9:30 PM CT10:30 PM ET2:30 GMT10:30 7:30 PM MST9:30 PM EST6:30 UAE (+1)03:3022:30 ET8:30 PM CT1:30 , March 11, 2019
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California  Attendance: 19,068

Celtics aim to complete California sweep vs. Clippers

According to STATS
According to STATS

Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Clippers

  1. The Clippers won the first matchup of the year in Boston on February 9 despite trailing by 21 points at the end of the first half. The 21-point margin is the largest overturned halftime deficit in team history. These teams have split their season series in each of the previous three campaigns.
  2. The Celtics moved to 3-0 on their current California road trip with a 120-107 win against the Lakers on Saturday. Boston shot at least 50.0 percent on field goals in all three games, its longest such streak since a five-game streak from November 25 to December 4, 2017.
  3. Kyrie Irving scored 30 points while going 12-for-18 from the field on Saturday. It was his fifth game this season scoring 30+ points while making at least two-thirds of his field-goal attempts, the second-most such games this season behind only Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has eight.
  4. The Clippers won their fourth game in a row on Friday by beating the Thunder, 118-110. During the win streak, Los Angeles is shooting 42.5 percent from three-point range while holding opponents to 28.8-percent shooting from beyond the arc.
  5. Lou Williams scored 40 points off the bench, giving him five 40-point games as a reserve over the last five seasons while the rest of the league combined has one in that span (Jordan Clarkson). Williams needs 28 points to pass Dell Curry as the NBA's all-time leader in points off the bench.
  6. Danilo Gallinari scored a season-high 34 points on Friday, going 12-for-18 from the field. In the 56 games he has played this season, the Clippers are 18-4 when he makes at least half of his field-goal attempts compared to 13-21 otherwise.

After dispatching their longtime cross-country rival with relative ease Saturday, the Boston Celtics will return to the same building Monday night knowing a tougher test awaits.

The Clippers have proven to be the best Los Angeles has to offer this season, even after LeBron James moved into town with the Lakers, and they will get a chance to solidify their playoff standing in the Western Conference when they play host to the Celtics.

Boston will enter Monday's finale of a four-game road trip with a chance for a California sweep. Having already defeated the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings and Lakers, a victory over the Clippers as well would send the Celtics soaring into the final 14 games of the regular season.

This was no California vacation as the Celtics got down to work and methodically distanced themselves from a four-game losing streak following the All-Star break.

"I think we all just came with a better mindset, realized what we're trying to do here," the Celtics' Marcus Morris said about the team's recent revival, according to the Boston Globe. "Feeling good, man. And then we got to go to L.A., good weather. That might be a big part of it, too."

The Celtics are certainly in a better place than they were as the storm gathered following defeats to the Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors and Portland Trail Blazers.

Kyrie Irving has been leading by example and Morris has done his part, shooting 45 percent from the field over the past three victories.

The duo leading the way for the Clippers of late has been Danilo Gallinari and Lou Williams. Los Angeles will enter on a four-game winning streak, and they have also won five of their last six.

Most impressive about the Clippers' run of success is that it has come after a major roster reshuffle as leading-scorer Tobias Harris was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. Gallinari returned from injury at the time of the trade deadline and has essentially been a new addition himself.

In a victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, Williams scored 40 points, including a late jump shot to open a five-point lead and essentially put the game out of reach. Gallinari scored a season-best 34 in the game.

"We've got great energy in the locker room right now," Williams said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "Guys are playing at a high clip, playing with a lot of confidence. So, to make a big shot right there, especially with the stretch that we have coming up, it just felt good at that moment."

At 38-29, the Clippers are in seventh place in the Western Conference but have a four-game cushion on the ninth-place Kings, who rest just outside of playoff eligibility.

At the start of play Sunday, the Celtics were in fifth place in the Eastern Conference just a half game behind the fourth-place 76ers.

While the Celtics have no injuries to report heading into Monday's game, Clippers forward Wilson Chandler is close to returning from a quadriceps injury but is not expected to be available against Boston.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 10, 2019

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