Clippers hold off feisty Celtics 96-88 in Doc's return to the Garden

In an unexpectedly low scoring contest the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Boston Celtics 96-88 at TD Garden tonight.

As expected, Chris Paul came out aggressively, scoring 10 points in the first quarter.

Unfortunately the rest of the Clippers looked as though they were still in a daze watching their in flight movie.

Other then Blake Griffin, who had eight, the rest of the Clipper team combined for 2 points in the quarter.

Jordan Crawford, however, outshined Paul in this quarter with an efficient seven points on 3-3 shooting and four assists including a beautiful pass to Avery Bradley on the break for a one handed alley-oop finish.

Celtics led 23-20 after one.

Doc, was so disappointed with his team's effort that he sat the entire starting team to start the quarter, including Paul, who sat out close to five minutes in the second.

Surprisingly, Brad Stevens also sat Crawford for close to six minutes to start the quarter for Paul Pressey.

Brandon Bass and Jeff Green picked up the offensive slack scoring 15 apiece in the half as Bass added eight rebounds in what was probably his best first 24 minutes of the season.

Chris Paul paced Los Angeles with 13 points although he only added three assists well below his league leading average of 12 a game and Griffin had a solid half with 12 points and five rebounds.

Deandre Jordan also contributed a single point to the Clippers cause as the Celtics were in front 45-39 to start the third quarter.

What has been the achilles heel of this Boston Celtic team, the third quarter, emerged again tonight as the Clippers started out the second half on a 14-4 taking the lead to four points.

Celtics countered with an 8-2 run of their own retaking the lead at 57-55 midway through the third.

Boston held off L.A. for the majority of the quarter before finally relinquishing the lead late trailing 66-64 after three.

Chris Paul once again paced the Clippers in this quarter with five assists.

Unfortunately, the Celtics were completely stagnate to start out the fourth quarter and never fully recovered even though they showed a lot of heart cutting it to a two point Clipper lead late.

Final score: Clippers 96 Celtics 88

Game notes


Jeff Green had another strong performance with 29 points 3-7 from three


Jamal Crawford had a big game off the bench for Los Angeles finishing with 21 points on just 14 shots.

Follow Clint on Twitter @coolhandc