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.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark


Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker