Shamrock roundup: Christmas win can’t keep Celtics afloat
The 14-14 Celtics might have had a little Christmas magic for a win Monday afternoon, but it was flanked by losses on Dec. 21 and Dec. 27. To top it off, that most recent loss to the Clippers was a 106-77 annihilation.
The Dec. 21 loss came when the Milwaukee Bucks were able to steal the victory late in the game for a 99-94 win in overtime. Despite 35 points from Paul Pierce, the Bucks bounced back in OT after giving up a seven-point lead in the final 30 seconds of regular play. Pierce’s heroics might have been enough in the fourth quarter, but in extra time the Celtics offense froze, giving Milwaukee the season series, 3-1.
“Give the Bucks credit. They’ve beaten us three times. They’re the better team right now,” head coach Doc Rivers said.
But on Christmas Day it was the Celtics who were the better team as they bounced back against the Brooklyn Nets (who fired head coach Avery Johnson Thursday) in a 93-76 win. Twenty turnovers for the Nets made the Celtics’ jobs a bit easier, as Kevin Garnett led an animosity-filled defense. There were moments of brilliance, but even Rivers noted that while the Celtics are very close to being a good team, they aren’t one yet.
That Christmas positivity came plummeting down when Chris Paul and the Clippers got their hands on the Celtics Thursday night, extending their franchise-best winning streak to 15 games and toppling Boston. It was smooth sailing for the Clippers, who gained a double-digit lead within five minutes and never trailed the Celtics at any point in the game. The 29-point margin of victory was the most over the Celtics in franchise history, and was the worst Boston loss since last March.
The Celtics will be looking to get back on track Saturday night as they take the court against the 19-10 Golden State Warriors