The streak lives on! The Celtics dominated most of the game but allowed the Clippers, led by Eric Bledsoe and Jamal Crawford, to claw their way back in the 4th quarter. After Jason Terry nailed a clutch pull-up and Avery Bradley took a last minute charge to take away Crawford's game tying bucket, Paul Pierce hit a step-back 3 in Matt Barnes' eye to put Boston up 5 with 2.5 seconds left.
Doc River's supporting cast stepped up again in expanded roles. Leandro Barbosa scored 14 points on 5 of 10 shooting, including a double clutch jumper to beat the 3rd quarter buzzer. Though he did not throw down any ferocious dunks, Jeff Green looked more like Iron Man than the Invisible Man, hitting all 3 of his 3-point attempts to finish with 14 points along with 2 blocks (including a big-time swat on a Blake Griffin layup). The Jet has finally gotten off the runway: Terry scored an efficient 13 points (5-7) with 6 assists to lead the second lineup. And Brandon Bass, who finally seems to have awakened from his 40 game hibernation, was active with 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. With Rondo gone, these guys have had to create more for themselves, and thus far are doing an admirable job.
Blake Griffin was solid with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists, but Matt Barnes score 0 points on 0-6 shooting, doing nothing but foul people and complain to the refs. Though Crawford and Bledsoe are great scorers, they are reeling without Chris Paul, who has missed 7 straight games with a bruised knee cap (that does not sound fun). L.A. has dropped 5 of their last 7, but should still mix it up in the postseason if they can get their superstar point guard health.
The game began just after rumors broke of the Clippers offering Eric Bledsoe and perhaps Caron Butler to acquire Kevin Garnett. Bledsoe lit up The Garden with 23 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds, knocking down big 3's and getting to the rim at will. Danny Ainge must be utterly conflicted right now; Boston has won 4 straight despite losing Rajon Rondo AND Jared Sullinger to season-ending surgeries, yet they've looked fantastic. Whether or not DA decides to trade one of our veteran's for younger talent, it's clear that The Celtics aren't going to lay down and die, and the season is still very much alive.
Follow Jacob on Twitter @TheReelJZ Jacob Zweiback 2/03/2013 04:00:00 PM Tweet