The L.A Clippers got off to a hot start and never looked back, keeping their winning streak alive with a 106-77 win over the Boston Celtics at Staples Center.
L.A has won a franchise-record 15 games in sequence — the longest lucky streak in the NBA this season.
Matt Barnes scored a game-high 21 points off the bench and Jamal Crawford added 17. Lamar Odom grabbed 13 rebounds and Chris Paul dished out 11 assists.
“They’re unbelievable,” Boston coach Doc Rivers declared of the Clippers.
Kevin Garnett led 5 Celtics in double digits with 16 points.
The Clippers led from the get-go thanks to an 18-4 run in the first 6 minutes. Blake Griffin made a couple of jumpers early, and the rest of the starting 5 all scored at least one field goal during the run.
Boston Celtics regained a little traction near to the end of the quarter as Garnett’s turnaround jumper beat the buzzer and cut the lead straight to 10.
Los Angeles’ bench held the lead in the 2nd quarter till Crawford got hot late, putting the Clippers up 13. Boston almost got a 2nd buzzer beater, but Jeff Green’s 3-point shot came just after the buzzer.
As the physicality of the game picked up in 3rd quarter, the Clippers stretched out their lead directly to as many as 21. Jared Sullinger was hit with a flagrant foul on Blake Griffin, preventing Griffin from another highlight slam.
“It was intense,” Griffin asserted. “They played very intense, they played very physical, and I believed we probably did a good job of matching that.”
The Celtics headed into fourth quarter down 82-67 as Rajon Rondo hit his 2nd 3-point shot of the game with less than 2 seconds on the clock. Football lines
But the Clippers’ bench, like it has done often in the team’s streak, put the game away in 4th quarter and kept Griffin (15 points, 8 rebounds), Chris Paul (8 points, 11 assists), DeAndre Jordan (7 points, 7 rebounds) and Caron Butler (14 points) on the bench.
The Clippers led by as many as 32 points in the 4th and have won their last 7 games by 10 points or more.
“For us, it’s the same old story,” Boston guard Jason Terry said. “We win one and we lose one. Until we are able to break that cycle, we’re not going to take the next step and we know that. We have got to win this next one.”
“We have to be professional, we’ve got to be prepared and we need to be locked in to what we wish to do and how we wish to do it,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro recounted. “We’ve been doing a better job of that. The results happen if you prepare the right way.”
Barnes announced the Clippers have a single goal, and it is not about adding to a winning streak.
“We’re playing well, but we want to continue building good habits,” he said. “Boston is a tough team, but we jumped on them early and actually did not give them any breathing room. We played well throughout the game.”