Celtics-Clippers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 26, 2012
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin receive most of the notoriety for the Los Angeles Clippers, though one of the league's deepest supporting casts has been a major reason for their success. Los Angeles looks to extend its franchise-best winning streak to 15 on Thursday night when it hosts a Boston Celtics team that has mainly held Paul in check the last couple times he's faced it. The Clippers (22-6) have surged to the NBA's best record during their recent run following Tuesday's 112-100 victory over Denver. Paul has been the catalyst for the franchise's turnaround since being acquired from New Orleans prior to last season and is determined to bring it to new heights. ''This is fool's gold,'' Paul said. ''You don't play for the regular season. Obviously, you want to build something.'' Paul has 20 assists last two times he's faced Boston, but he's also shot just 3 for 21 in those games and may need help from a cast of reserves ranking among the best in the league averaging 42.7 points. Jamal Crawford, making the case for his second career sixth man of the year award, scored 22 points for the second straight game Tuesday as Los Angeles improved to 10-2 when he hits the 20-point mark. ''It's about getting better and better,'' Crawford said. ''We're trying to stay locked in and focused.'' The Clippers' 64 points from their reserves marked the most since scoring 78 in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 30, 2000. "We (the bench) are just trying to keep pushing it," Ronny Turiaf told the team's official website. "We're trying to do whatever we've got to do to give us a chance to win a ball game by moving the ball from side to side and playing together. If we do that, everybody succeeds." The bench outscored Boston's 31-11 in the most recent meeting March 12, but Boston overcame Griffin's 24 points in a 94-85 win in the only matchup since Paul joined the Clippers. The Celtics (14-13), who have won three of the last four meetings, ended a five-game road losing streak with Tuesday's 93-76 win over Brooklyn to begin a four-game trip. They had lost four of their previous five overall but forced 20 turnovers and set a season best for points allowed. Boston also plays at Golden State on Saturday before ending its trip Sunday at Sacramento. ''It was good to get off to this start. It was good to finally play from start to finish,'' said Paul Pierce, who along with Kevin Garnett scored only eight points. ''So it was a well-balanced game, but I'm happy with the start of the trip.'' Garnett added 10 rebounds to tie Charles Oakley for 15th on the NBA's career list, but he has only one double-digit rebounding effort in his last eight versus the Clippers. Rajon Rondo's five assists Tuesday were his fewest this season excluding Nov. 28 against Brooklyn when he was ejected in the second quarter. He's averaging 10.5 assists in his last four games versus the Clippers, though, and his 13.8 points per game against them are his best versus any team. Rondo and Paul are the NBA's top two assist leaders, with Rondo averaging 11.9 and Paul dishing out 9.5 per contest.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mother Nature stops Tim Tebow's St. Lucie debut

Carson Palmer not sure if 2017 will be his last NFL season

Report: Spurs, Clippers among teams interested in Andre Iguodala

Vanderbilt players shot while trying to get teammate’s phone back from thief

Would adding George, Hayward make Celtics a super-team?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Kevin Durant congratulates Russell Westbrook for earning MVP honors

Colts QB coach: Andrew Luck should not be double-digit INT guy

Jim Kelly praises Sean McDermott, throws shade at Rex Ryan

Did John Paxson just admit the Bulls are tanking?

Report: Carmelo may be open to trade to Wizards, Sixers

Report: Roadblock to Kirk Cousins-Redskins deal isn't money

Although you have seen this start before, this season is no sequel for the Dodgers

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

Who won Wimbledon the year you were born?

Box Score 6/27: Monday is for all sorts of ballers

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2017 is not another disappointing sequel for the Dodgers

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker