BOSTON (AP) — Montrezl Harrell forced two turnovers in the final two minutes and Patrick Beverly hit a pair of 3-pointers in front of the Boston bench Saturday night to help the retooled Los Angeles Clippers overcome a 28-point, first-half deficit and beat the Celtics 123-112.
One game after the Lakers rallied from 18 points down to win in Boston on Rajon Rondo’s buzzer-beater — and six days after the Patriots beat the Rams in the Super Bowl — the Clippers turned the “Beat L.A.! chants” to boos. The Celtics collapse corresponded to the loss of Kyrie Irving, who left with a sprained knee in the second quarter, when the game seemed comfortably in hand.
Harrell scored 21 points, Danilo Gallinari had 19 points and 10 rebounds and trade deadline acquisition Landry Shamet scored 17 points.
Gordon Hayward scored 19 points and Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier had 16 apiece for Boston. The Celtics followed their highest-scoring half of the season with their lowest-scoring quarter and lost at home to a team from Los Angeles for the second straight time.
Boston scored 15 straight points and finished the first quarter with a 23-point lead, then extended it to 68-40 in the second. The Celtics led 74-53 at halftime, but the Clippers outscored them 28-12 in the third.
With 70 points and 2:05 remaining in the second quarter, the Celtics have recorded their highest scoring half this season (69, twice)
— Celtics Stats (@celtics_stats) February 10, 2019
Los Angeles finally tied it 100-all, bringing boos from the crowd that expected an easy victory against a team that traded away leading scorer Tobias Harris at the deadline and added five new players. Gallinari followed with a jumper to give the Clippers their first lead.
The Celtics were down by a point when Marcus Smart missed a 3-pointer, then tried to take a charge on Harrell but didn’t get the call. The Boston guard was on the floor, hoping for a call, when Beverly hit his first 3.
Harrell followed by stealing the ball from Hayward, then bounding down the court with a Celtic on either side before going in for a two-handed dunk that made it 114-107. After Tatum hit a 3, Beverly answered, and then Harrell poked another ball free to preserve the lead.
Irving left with 2 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter after spraining his right knee while weaving through traffic on defense. Boston led by 20 at the time, and the team quickly announced that he would not return.
Irving finished with 14 points and two assists in 14 minutes. He had been averaging 23.8 points and seven assists this season. He missed the last 15 games and all of the playoffs last year with injuries to his left knee.
The game was the last in a rivalry week for Boston and Los Angeles that began when the Patriots beat the Rams in the Super Bowl. The Celtics lost to the Lakers on Thursday night, and the Bruins beat the Los Angeles Kings earlier Saturday 5-4 in overtime.
The Red Sox also beat the Dodgers in the World Series, back in October.
Garrett Temple, Ivica Zubac, JaMychal Green and Landry Shamet all made their debuts for the Clippers after being acquired by Los Angeles at the trade deadline.
“We had yesterday’s practice and today’s shootaround so we were able to put a couple of things in,” coach Doc Rivers said. “I told them literally to keep the game as simple as possible; imagine you’re in high school in a park and you’re trying to win and there’s no next.”
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) February 10, 2019
The Celtics were unable to do their usual pregame walkthrough because of a 1 p.m. Boston Bruins game that went into overtime and delayed the changeover from ice to parquet. Coach Brad Stevens said they went over the plans in the family room instead of on the court.
Clippers: Monday’s game against the Timberwolves completes a six-game trip, during which the team will have traveled approximately 6,659 miles — the fifth-most in the league this season, according to travelmath.com. They improved to 3-2 on the trip.
Celtics: Fell to 22-8 at home. The Celtics went 25 for 31 from the free throw line, snapping a streak of two straight games without missing a foul shot. … They shot 4 for 22 from the floor in the third quarter.
Clippers: At Minnesota on Monday night.
Celtics: At Philadelphia on Tuesday night.