Final: Boston 106, Clippers 104
Well, the Celtics have won four straight, improving their record to above .500 (24-23), but they nearly gave this one away. After a late run by the Clippers, Paul Pierce hit a filthy, cold-blooded step-back 3-pointer with 2.5 left to sick the dagger in this game. The shot gave Pierce a game-high 22 points. Jamal Crawford hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make the final margin what it is. Still, it’s worth remembering that the Celtics led this one by 19.
Fourth quarter: 3:44, Boston 100, Clippers 96
The Clippers are on a 13-2 run and have nearly come back from being down by as many as 19 points in this game. The Celtics haven’t scored in a long while and could use a bucket to stop the bleeding. This game is also getting much more chippy.
Fourth quarter: 5:27, Boston 100, Clippers 94
The Clippers have used an 11-2 run to cut Boston’s lead down. The Garden crowd is definitely getting a little anxious. All the momentum is with the Clippers, who are relying on their starters, namely Eric Bledsoe (20 points) and Blake Griffin (20 points.) Boston has been lacking a go-to guy in these final moments. Kevin Garnett is back into the game with 5 fouls. We’ll see how this finishes up.
Fourth quarter: 9:12, Boston 98, Clippers 86
A hectic sequence, but the Clippers are coming on strong, finally. Eric Bledsoe has a season-high 20 points to lead them, followed by 18 from Caron Butler and 16 from Blake Griffin. Kevin Garnett picked up his fifth foul and then was hit with a technical for jawing with Matt Barnes. Can the Celtics hang on? Or will this be another debacle like their loss in Atlanta?
End of the third quarter: Boston 92, Clippers 77
So, Jeff Green buried a corner trey to put Celtics up 17. But then Jamal Crawford banked in a trey from the top of the key. Well, to match that difficult shot, Leandro Barbosa hit a trey from the right wing that bounced around the rim a few times, then bounced out and hit the backboard before falling in. You don’t see a shot like that even in a game of H-O-R-S-E. Barbosa added a hanging jumper in the lane as the buzzer sounded. He’s got 14 points. The Celtics have done it from beyond the arc, hitting 10 of their 14 3-pointers. Another important category is bench scoring, where the Celtics are outscoring the Clippers, 50-13.
Third quarter: 1:35, Boston 84, Celtics 70
The game has slowed down as the foul calls have picked up. No real sense of flow for either team. The Celtics have been getting more production from their second unit. Heck, Jason Collins has 7 points, besting his previous high of 4. Paul Pierce has 18 to lead the C’s, and the C’s other two double-digit scorers are off the bench, as Jason Terry and Jason Green each have 11 points. The Cel
Third quarter: 4:32, Boston 74, Clippers 58
An unusual sequence, as Eric Bledsoe barreled through a Jason Collins pick as Paul Pierce buried a 3-pointer. Collins knocked down the ensuing free throw to cap the rarely-seen four-point play. The Celtics followed that up with a transition layup by Leandro Barbosa, who has 8 points. Barbosa’s layup put the Celtics lead back to 19 and brought the Garden to its feet.
Third quarter: 6:17, Boston 68, Clippers 53
Three players already have four fouls: Kevin Garnett, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. The Clippers are in the bonus, but they’re also not a great free-throw shooting team. (We’re looking at you, Jordan.) Offense has been stagnant for both teams, but the officials are starting to call this one pretty tight.
Third quarter: 8:48, Boston 64, Clippers 48
The Clippers had a hot start to the third quarter, with a dunk from Blake Griffin and a 3-pointer from Caron Butler. Meanwhile, Avery Bradley missed an easy two-handed slam for the Celtics. An omen? Not quite. Brandon Bass followed that up with a midrange jumper and Paul Pierce just snuck in for an offensive rebound that he turned into a 3-pointer.
Halftime: Boston 59, Clippers 40
The Clippers scored just 10 points that quarter. At halftime, they have 16 made baskets and 15 turnovers. Could they play worse? Sure. They did lose by 25 on Friday. And remember: This Clippers team is without Chris Paul. That said, the Celtics are playing great basketball. They’re sharing the ball, as 10 Celtics have scored, and six of them have six points. Bench scoring: Celtics 32, Clippers 5. Plus, the Celtics defense has really locked down. We’ll see if they can keep it up in the second half.
Second quarter: 1:25, Boston 53, Clippers 40
Great ball movement by the Celtics led to an easy one-handed slam by Kevin Garnett down low. He has 6 points. The Clippers answered with a dunk on the other end by DeAndre Jordan, who has four dunks. He has 9 points. Clippers have 16 baskets and 14 turnovers.
Second quarter: 3:14, Boston 51, Clippers 36
Jason Terry just canned a 3-pointer in transition to give the Celtics their biggest lead of the day. The Clippers are 3-of-13 from the floor this quarter with 8 turnovers. Not good at all for Lob City’s chances. The Celtics are continuing to get a balanced effort, with 28 bench points; the Clippers have just 5 bench points.
Second quarter: 6:28, Boston 45, Clippers 32
The Celtics defense has been fantastic this quarter, holding the Clippers to just 2 points so far. The Clippers also have 12 turnovers, which have resulted in 17 Boston points. A couple rough fouls so far, but they’ve been called on the Clippers. Ten Celtics have scored, and eight of them have at least 4 points.
Second quarter: 8:41, Boston 37, Clippers 30
The Clippers have yet to score this quarter. You can credit the Celtics defense for that — and also some sloppy offense by the Clippers, who could clearly use Chris Paul. The Clippers have 10 turnovers, the Celtics have two. Boston has also received 17 points from its bench, while the Clippers have only 3 points from their reserves.
End of the first quarter: Boston 33, Clippers 30
A high-scoring first quarter. Boston is shooting 59 percent and the Clippers are shooting 60 percent. The Celtics have been trying to run and gun again. Whoever rebounds it has kicked it to an outlet man to start the break. Overall, their ball movement has been crisp, and it’s why they’re leading the Clippers right now. The Celtics bench has also contributed; four reserves have scored, and two have 4 points. Blake Griffin has 8 points, as does DeAndre Jordan, to lead the Clippers.
First quarter: 3:52, Boston 25, Clippers 23
The clearly-more-athletic Clippers have five dunks, three from DeAndre Jordan. But the Celtics have been patient on offense, chipping away methodically for buckets. This has been a pretty physical game, but the officials aren’t calling it as tight as they did early.
First quarter: 5:56, Boston 17, Clippers 17
Another alley-oop slam by the Clippers, this time DeAndre Jordan, who has 5 points. Caron Butler has been an issue for the Celtics; he has 8 points and has hit 3 of his 5 shots. All of the Celtics starters have scored. Will be interesting to see what happens when these teams go to their second units.
First quarter: 8:00, Clippers 14, Boston 1
The folks from Lob City posted three early dunks to take a 11-6 lead, but the Celtics answered back with a corner 3-pointer from Courtney Lee and, later, a baseline jumper from Kevin Garnett. The refs are calling this one close so far.
And were moments from tipoff here at the Garden, where the Clippers (34-14) will take on the Celtics (23-23) this Sunday afternoon. We’ll have live updates throughout the game, so stay tuned to the blog. And be sure to check out tomorrow’s Globe for full coverage.