Celtics vs. Los Angeles Clippers, Sat, Feb 15, 2003
For this game, thanks to the screw up with NBAtv.com, Iím reviewing this game from the written ticker on NBA.com.  This means I will miss nuances that I could normally expect to catch from visual, or even audio broadcast.  So be nice.  When I can get a tape of the game, Iíll revisit this review.

First quarter

The Clippers Elton Brand scored first; then Bremer got ball to Walker for two.  The Clippers scored then fouled Pierce, who went 1-2 at the line.  The Cís crashed the boards on the miss to no avail as the Clippers took control of the ball.

Eric Williams scored on a jumper; then on the next trip got stuffed by Brand.  The Clippers then blocked Walterís shot, as they were determined to out rebound someone this season.  Pierce drove to the hoop and was fouled, as the Clippers fouled early and often.

On the next trip, Walter went 2-2 at the line, and Brand then dunked for L.A.  Pierce sent the ball to Walker for a jumper.  The Clippers sent Walter to the line, but he missed both this time as the Clippers rebounded. Timeout was called with 6:22 to go and the score 12-10 favoring Boston.

After timeout Corey Magette made a layup; then blocked Pierce at the other end, making another basket.
The Cís were not hitting well, only 33.3%, as L.A. was 63.6%. The Cís tried substitutions, sending in Grant Long and Tony Delk for Williams and Bremer.  Delk got a rebound and Pierce made a shot.  Then, off a Clipper miss, Walter made a run to the hoop and scored.  Delk stole the ball from Wilcox but Waltah! missed the basket.  Walker made a basket as timeout was called with 2:45 left and score 20-14 Boston.

After the timeout Walker missed both free throws.  Yeek!  Yet another Clipper foul sent Pierce to the line where he went 1-2.  As Walker went to the bench with 2:08 left.  A Grant Long turnover led to a dunk by Parks, who then stole the ball from Delk.  Boston did get the rebound, but Vin Baker then committed an offensive foul, whereupon Corey Magette went to the line, hitting 1-2.  Grant Long rebounded the missed free throw and dished off to Pierce for two.  The 1st quarter ended with Boston leading 23-21.

The First quarter stats were not great news for the Good Guys, as they shot 40% to 52.6% for the Clippers.
The threes favored Boston with 33.3% on 2-6 for Boston, while the Clippers had yet to make an attempt. Free throws werenít good, as the Cís had 45.5%, while the Clippers were only slightly better at exactly 50%.
The Clippers led in paint points, 14-8; and in rebounds, 13-11.

Second Quarter:

Delk opened up by scoring, but parks replied with two of his own.  Lamar Odom complicated a turnover with a foul.  Both teams crashed the boards as Boston tried to score and L.A. came away with the ball.  Their own shot missed and they fouled Williams as he got the defensive rebound.  Both teams traded shots the next few possessions.  Timeout was called with 8:11 to go and the score 29-27, Boston leading.  After the timeout both teams traded misses until the Clippers made one.  Magette missed both free throws after Williams fouled him.   Like an awkward teenager, it seemed the Cís could rebound ok; they just couldnít score.  Timeout was called again with 5:55 left and the score 30-29 with the Clippers ahead.

Long and Bremer came in to replace Eric and Shammond.  Bremer made a three.  Pierce followed up with 2 more.  A Clipper foul sent Pierce to line, but he went 1-2 again - Aargh!  Walker sent the ball to Walter for a dunk to make it 37-32 Boston with 3:54 left.

After a couple of Boston misses and a foul, timeout was called with 2:49 left.  Pierce then hit a shot to make it 38-36 with 2:05 left.  A Clipper foul soon sent him to the line where he went 2-2 at last!!  It was now 41-38 with 1:36 left.

Walker got the ball to Delk and the Cís got more points, making it 44-40 with 28 seconds left.  L.A. called a 20-second timeout to set up a play, but the Cís forced a 24 second violation with 3 seconds left in the half. Walkerís shot missed and the half ended with the score 44-40 Boston.


Cookie Break!!

At the half, Boston was now down to 38.1% on 16-42 from the field, while the Clippers were shooting 51.4% on 19-37.  Threes were also not so hot, as Boston was now 28.6% on 4-14, and the Clippers went 11.1% on 1-9 Ė all in the 2nd quarter.  Free throws had improved slightly, as the Cís were now 53.3% on 8-15, while the Clippers were a dismal 1-5 for 20%.  The Clippers were more careless with the ball, leading 10-5 in turnovers; but made up for it by holding a 24-16 edge in paint points.  Rebounds were even at 24 each.  Scoring was not well distributed as the lead scorers for Boston at the half were Pierce, with 16 points on 5-14; Walker, with 12 points on 5-9; and Tony Delk, who had 5 points on 2-3.

The Cís had more opportunities to score and didnít.  They were lucky to lead at the half.  Pierceís shooting needs to be better iuf heís going to take that many shots, and the rest of Cís too - except Walker who is at 50% with a bad knee.  So far, so good, but the Good Guys need to be Great, not merely Good, or theyíll lose this one.  A third quarter slump will end this game early.

Third Quarter:

Teams traded misses and then makes as Walter rolled it in for two.  Play was ragged as the quarter started.  With 10:04 left, it was 46-43 Boston.  Pierce stole the ball from Brand and went to the hoop for an easy two.  Magette replied with a three; then got fouled by Walter going for the rebound.  Delk replaced Bremer and stole the ball, but the teams traded misses some more.  Pierce blocked a shot then lost the ball on a steal.  Waltah! picked up his third and Baker replaced him as the Clippers made another basket.  Now it was 51-48 favoring Boston with 7:01 left.

Antoine went to the line and hit 1-2 Aaugh!!!!!  On the plus side, he did rebound the Clipper miss at the other end.  Unfortunately Pierce was then called for traveling.  Next time up, Delk rebounded a Pierce miss and got it to Walker, who hit a three.  Magette replied with a three of his own.  They spent the next 90 seconds trading baskets before Pierce stole the ball and made a layup.  The teams traded more fast scoresówhere the heck was the defense? Ėbefore timeout was called with 3:10 left and the score 64-57.

After the timeout, Baker made a turnaround jump shot to make the score 66-59 as time was called again with 2:24 left in the third.  Pierce had fouled before the timeout and parks went 1-2.  Glad itís not just us.  Pierceís jump shot missed and Brand took the rebound, but his shot ran square into Vin Baker.  The teams traded misses before the Clippers hit another shot.  More misses followed as time ran down.  The Clippers closed the lead as Parks hit a three to end the quarter to make it 66-65, with Boston holding the lead.

Amazingly, the Cís improved their shooting, going 42.4% on 25-59, while the Clippers were down slightly to 50.9% on 29-57.  Threes had also improved slightly, with Boston at 35.3% on 6-27, and the Clippers 30.8% on 4-13.  What few free throws there were in the third got the Cís up to 55.6% on 10-18; while the Clippers were 37.5% on 3-8.  The Clippers held the edge in paint points, 28-26; and rebounds, 32-31.

Fourth Quarter:

Vin Baker started off by going 2-2 at the line - YAY!  Antoine stole the ball from Parks but missed the jumper.  The Cís forced a 24-second violation and Pierce made them pay at the other end.  The Clippers replied with a basket of their own and the score was now 70-67, favoring Boston with 9:32 left.

Misses for both teams ended when Brand slammed the ball through the hoop to make it 70-69 with 8:36 left as Boston called timeout to regroup.  After that, Odom hit a jumper to give the Clippers the lead of 71-70 with 7:53left.

The Cís reassumed the lead as Walker fed Pierce for the slam off a Delk rebound. Now it was 72-71 with 7:13 left.  The Clippers then called a timeout with 6:51 left.  After that, Brand got the ball to Odom for three, as L.A. regained the lead at 74-72 with 6:01 left.

Pierce then lost the ball on a steal and Waltah! committed a foul.  Two free throws and a dunk after a Delk turnover allowed Brand to up the Clipper lead to 78-72 with 5:24 left.  The Cís were in BIG trouble now.

After a Boston timeout, Bremer came in for Delk and the teams traded some more misses as the clock wound down to 4:52.  Walker hit a three, but Parks replied 16 seconds later with two of his own.  The score was now 80-75 L.A. with 4 minutes left.  Then Pierce hit a three, and made it 80-75.  Williams then stole the ball on the next Clipper possession and was fouled by Parks with 2:49 left.  The Cís inbounded to Pierce, whose shot missed, and Williams fouled Parks on the rebound.  Parks went to the line and hit both, but Odom then fouled Bremer, and HE made both.   The score was now 82-80, with the Clipper leading and 2:16 left.  Pierce was fouled by Miller on the rebound of the next possession and went to the line, making both and tying the game at 82 with 1:46 left to go!  The Clippers called timeout to set up a play.

After time, Pierce stole the ball from Miller with 1:25 left.  Williams made the basket to give Boston the lead of 84-82 with 1:20 left.  Then, Waltah! stole the ball from Miller, and fired it to Walker who put it in for two more - and got fouled by Magette on the way to the hoop.  With 1:05 left, Walker made the free throw and Bostonís lead was now 87-82.

The Clippers took 20-second timeout with 1:05 to set up a play, but Magetteís shot missed as Boston took the rebound with less than a minute to go.  Brand committed the foul and sent Bremer to the line.  JR made both with 58 seconds left and the score now 89-82.

The Clippers had a couple more chances, but missed.  Then Richardson picked up a foul.  Coach Alvin Gentry objected and was ejected for his trouble with 41 seconds left.  Pierce hit the technical free throw, and Walker made both of his regular free throws, to make it 92-82.  This was the Cís biggest lead of the game, with 41 seconds still left on the game clock.  The Clippers called timeout, for all the good it would do them.

After the timeout, the teams traded misses, then Pierce fouled Magette, who went to the line with 10 seconds left to shoot two, making both.  Now the score was 92-84.  The last 10 seconds were dribbled out by Boston and the game ended with Boston now 3-3 on its road trip, and 4-4 over all since just before the All-Star break.

Startlingly, Boston won despite shooting 38.8% on 31-80, while the Clippers were 45.5% on 35-77.  The threes were hardly better as Boston went 30.8% on 8-26, and the Clippers 25% on 5-20.  Free throws improved considerably for the Good Guys, and probably made the overall difference, as they were now 73.3% on 22-30, while the Clippers also shot better at the end, going 64.3% on 9-14.  Rebounds were even at 42.
The Clippers held the lead in paint points 34-32, but also in turnovers, 21-13.

The Cís were led by Pierce, with 35 points on 12-29, 10-13 free throws, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists; & Walker, with 26 points on 9-20, 4-7 free throws, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists.

The rest of the Celtics combined scored 31 pointsófour less than Pierce by himself.  They need to learn to create their own offense.   Still, as win is a win; and much better than a loss.  Now, they would have no rest, as theyíd have little more than 18 hours before having to face the Phoenix Suns.  But this game made the Good Guys 3-0 on their road trip and 4-0 over their last 4 games.  Life is good.  Tough, but good.

And thatís the viewóhowever obstructed in this caseófrom the doghouse.