"It is his ankle, which is good news, because when he went down I
thought it was his knee," Rivers said. "Of course, the Lakers' fans
thought they were going to bring out the wheelchair at some point,
but they didn't do that, so that was good."
Rivers was referring to the 2008 NBA Finals when he was coach of the
Boston Celtics and Pierce was one of the team's stars. Pierce left
the court in a wheelchair with an apparent leg injury, only to
return a short time later and resume playing.
Pierce's ankle sprain put more of a scare into the Clippers than the
Celtics did. Austin Rivers scored 16 points, and Los Angeles rolled
past Boston 114-90 at Staples Center.
DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Crawford added 15 points apiece for the
Clippers, who won their third consecutive decision. Jordan also had
13 rebounds and three blocks in three quarters.
Chris Paul finished with 13 points and 14 assists, Wesley Johnson
scored 11 points, and Jeff Green contributed 10 for Los Angeles
(46-27). Paul's 14 assists equaled the entire output of the Celtics,
while the Clippers had 29.
Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 24 points, while Avery Bradley and
Marcus Smart each scored 13. The Celtics (43-31) had their four-game
winning streak snapped.
The Clippers' shooting was the difference. The Clippers made 52.4
percent of their shots to 34.8 percent for the Celtics. Los Angeles
also connected on 11 of 25 (44 percent) 3-point tries to seven of 19
(36.8 percent) for Boston.
"Any team in this league, if they're knocking down shots, it's tough
to guard," said Smart, who connected on six of 12 shots but missed
all four of his 3-point attempts. "They were very comfortable out
there, and we kind of let them get into their zone. It was hard to
stop them in the second half."
Pierce, who scored eight points in 12 minutes, hurt himself with
2:06 left in the second quarter when he drove to the bucket as he
was defended by Jared Sullinger. He slumped to the court after he
landed at an awkward angle under the basket.
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"I was worried about him," Paul said. "I did not even see him fall.
Once he made (the shot), my mind clicked straight to defense. Paul
is a warrior and a guy that has been through a lot, and we are glad
that he is OK."
Pierce's departure occurred when the Clippers were completing a
dominating second quarter that allowed them to bolt past the
Celtics. They outscored Boston 37-26 in the second and turned a
six-point advantage after the first quarter into a 67-50 halftime
Los Angeles increased the margin to 92-70 heading into the final
Austin Rivers scored 10 points in the second quarter.
"Sometimes, we try to get it back in one play," said Thomas, who
collected half of his points on the foul line, where he hit 12 of
13. "A lot of teams do that, though. We can't get down like that,
especially to a good team. It's hard to come back against a really
good team and get down 20, especially on the road. We can't put
ourselves in that hole.
"Honestly, we just didn't make shots. For the most part, we got the
looks that we wanted, (but) guys didn't make shots. Like I said,
against a team as good as they are, you have to play a perfect game
on the road. You have to be able to make shots and defend them at a
high level. We didn't do that."
The clubs split the season series. The Celtics won the initial
meeting 139-134 in overtime at Boston.
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