Originally written on Celtics Town  |  Last updated 9/21/14
18
Paul Pierce came up big late against the ClippersI know two things to be true about the 2013 Celtics. The first: If something is too good to be true (ie. a first half offensive explosion and lockdown defense), it likely is. The second: No lead is safe, specifically no lead under 20.Boston tried VERY hard to lose the game in the fourth quarter this afternoon, blowing all but two points of a 19-point second half lead. The Clippers came storming back by playing excellent defense and driving hard to the basket, especially Eric Bledsoe who scored 23 points on 9-15 shooting. But the Celtics, after being suffocated defensively for much of the fourth quarter, were able to get two clutch baskets from Jason Terry and Paul Pierce in the final minute to come away with the win.Some bullet points:Paul Pierce’s last shot, an isolation step-back three pointer over Matt Barnes, would have drawn heavy criticism if he had missed it. But in that particular scenario, it was the right decision to isolate and run the clock down as far as possible. Once Pierce got the ball, he was clearly waiting for Barnes to foul him, as any sane coach (read: Most coaches not named Vinny Del Negro) would have instructed his players to do in that situation. Even if the Clippers had stopped the Celtics without fouling, they would have had less than two seconds (once they rebounded the ball and called timeout) to make a play on the other end. So Pierce waited for the foul and correctly ran the clock down as far as the Clippers would allow him to. He just happened to stick a 3-point dagger into LA’s heart at the end of the play.The Celtics were 11-18 from 3-point range for 61.1%. When Pierce, Jeff Green and Jason Terry combine for 9-13 shooting from behind the arc, the Celtics are likely to come away with the win. Green, for his part, hit the corner 3-pointers Boston desperately needs him to make. Jason Terry hit the dictionary definition of a “NO NO YES!” trey, pulling up on a 2-on-1 fast break and connecting from downtown. And Pierce, of course, was clutch and comfortable for most of the afternoon.The Clippers turned the ball over ad nauseum in the first half, allowing the Celtics to run out to a big lead. But the final turnover tally, 21-17, spoke to Boston’s sloppy fourth quarter execution. As Tommy Heinsohn pointed out on the telecast, the Celtics started running the high pick-and-rolls they enjoy so much, and the Clippers simply double-teamed the ball handler, making passes difficult. Without a real point guard to break through the double team, the Celtics turned the ball over, stalled late in the shot clock, and allowed the Clippers back into the game. It was almost like the Celtics were badly missing their primary ball-handler or something.Jamal Crawford, incidentally, banked in a three near the end of the third quarter. I almost lost a tonsil screaming at my computer screen.In four minutes, Chris Wilcox scored four points diving to the basket off pick-and-rolls, which is something most Boston bigs don’t usually do, preferring to pick-and-pop. He also played a passing lane perfectly and picked off a pass. He still struggles badly on defensive rotations, but it’s difficult to understand how Collins continues to get more minutes.KG exiting his postgame press conference, per CLNS’s Jared Weiss: “NINERS GONNA WIN, MOTHAF***A!” I mean…he’s just the best.That should do it for us. Exciting finish aside, this was a good win for the Celtics who once again move above .500.Enjoy the Super Bowl, everybody.Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Wrigley Field bleacher renovation may be delayed

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations

Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Josh Gordon felt alienated by some in Browns organization

Jerry Jones: I'm a big admirer of Robert Griffin III

Raiola fined for uneccesarily striking Pats' Zach Moore

Report: Michigan keeping Jim Hackett on as athletic director

Steelers turned down chance to be called 'America's Team'

Report: Small chance Raiders-Rams could be moved to Indy

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

Top 10 fantasy football turkeys for 2014

WATCH: Coyotes lose in ugly fashion, score own goal in OT

Warriors are having tons of fun on team plane

Jenn Sterger hints she'll be back in her FSU cowgirl gear for game

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.

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Pierce: C's Big Three like 'Holy Trinity'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.