The game started much as the game against the Thunder did – with Danilo Gallinari scorching the nets. He had the Clippers first eight points on 3-3 shooting, and was the only Clipper player who seemed to have much rhythm. On the other end, however, the Clippers looked much better, with Zubac protecting the rim and Shai bothering Kyrie Irving with his length. Al Horford hit some shots to keep up with Gallo, and the Clippers turned the ball over a few too many times. When the bench came in, the overall flow was very similar, but with Lou Williams replacing Gallo as the lone Clippers’ scorer. The Clippers led 25-19 at the end of the quarter.
Lou just kept cooking in the second, destroying the Celtics in the pick and roll as both a scorer and playmaker. He found Montrezl Harrell several times for easy looks, and was able to hit all sorts of shots around the basket. The Clippers, however, couldn’t stop turning the ball over, and the Celtics hung around due to some shotmaking by Kyrie. Lou checked back in for Shai after the rookie had a couple bad turnovers, and led the Clippers on a big run to end the quarter, giving them a 62-49 lead.
The third quarter was just absolutely gorgeous offensive basketball from both teams. Jaylen Brown sizzled early in the quarter for the Celtics, hitting three threes in a row at one point, but the Clippers answered with buckets from Beverley and Shai. Later in the quarter, it was Kyrie shaking loose for some scores, and Gallo coming right back with some buttery shots. Landry Shamet played impeccably, nailing two corner threes and making the extra read on offense. Even with the Celtics scoring, the Clippers outscored them 39-36 in the quarter.
The 4th quarter started with Lou Williams needing 7 points to get the NBA record for most points off the bench, and he got it within minutes, pouring in 13 points in five minutes to secure the record – and the victory. At the end of Lou’s flurry, the Clippers led by 25, and Doc slowly began subbing out his key players for the deep bench. The rest of the game was just extended garbage time, with Clippers’ fans getting a nice look at Wilson Chandler for the first time. The Clippers kept scoring, putting up another 39 point quarter to win, 140-115.
Lou Will unstoppable on historic night: Lou Williams made history tonight, passing Dell Curry for the leading bench scorer in NBA history. And he did it in classic Lou Williams fashion, torching the Celtics all over the court for 34 points on 14-20 shooting – in just 23 minutes. He hit threes, he converted and-ones around the hoop, and he made a couple of his trademark floaters. Not to be outdone, he threw in five rebounds and assists apiece, with even more passes setting up fouls or hockey assists for easy buckets. It was a vintage performance, with everything looking effortless and unrushed. He looked every bit the legend that he is tonight. Sixth Man of the Year is Lou’s. Or it better be.
Gallo continues hot streak: Fresh off one of his best performances of the season against the Thunder, Gallo followed it right back with another incredible shooting display. He scored 25 points on 9-12 shooting, and generally got wherever he wanted to on the floor. When the Celtics had smaller guys on him, he would shoot over the top of bully his way to the basket. When he had big men guarding him, he’d glide by the hoop or create separation for easy jumpers. He looks healthy, and very good, and the Clippers have to be incredibly happy with how his season has turned out.
Montrezl bounces back: I predicted in the preview that Trez would have a good game after a few rough outings, and he certainly did. Trez poured in 20 points on 8-12 shooting in just 21 minutes, and had several monstrous offensive rebounds and finishes. His effort leaped off the screen, and the Celtics just had no way to slow him down or keep him off the offensive glass. When he’s playing like this, the Clippers are very tough to beat.
Top-to-bottom performance: While the three guys above were the standouts, every Clippers’ player played well, in perhaps the best team performance of the entire season. Their defense was on point when it needed to be, they moved the ball well on offense, and played unselfish, tough basketball. All the non-Gallo starters all scored in double-figures, with Shamet demonstrating some nice passing chops, and Zu claiming his territory in the paint on both ends. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander did a great job defensively on Kyrie Irving, while Pat Beverley made plays, hit threes, and skied for boards. The Clippers look locked in as a team right now, and they’re just a joy to watch.
Unsightly turnovers: The one down spot of the night was 19 turnovers, with many of them unforced, but the Clippers were generally trying to play the right way, and the Celtics are a team that forces a lot of turnovers, so I wouldn’t be too bothered by it.
Wilson Chandler makes Clippers debut: Chandler started the 4th quarter in place of Ty Wallace, and played much of the period. He fit in ok, as he didn’t force anything and generally played within the rhythm of the offense. As the game was a blowout, it was tough to take much away from his play, but he appeared to be moving well enough on the court.
The Clippers have no time to rest on their laurels, as they face the Portland Trailblazers tomorrow.