There’s a beautiful symmetry between the Celtics and Clippers. Both squads are led by two dynamic duos on the wing. In the spirit of Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady or Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, Los Angeles features Paul George and Kawhi Leonard on the back end of their primes and of course, the Celtics’ cornerstones are twentysomethings Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.
It had been three years since all four were on the floor together and on Monday night, it was the veteran pair that got the best of the young upstarts.
George and Leonard combined for 51 points. Leonard, who has missed twenty games already this season, has been slow to return to form so far after missing all of last year with a torn ACL, but was a machine in 29 minutes. The former Finals MVP scored a season-high 25 points (10-of-12 from the field) and dished out six assists. George chipped in 26 points.
After a sub-par performance in a Finals rematch against the Warriors on Saturday night, Jayson Tatum was again flustered by double teams and stymied around the rim. The MVP favorite was treated like the MVP favorite, but Tatum hit just 7 of his 20 shots, including 2-of-8 from 3-point range.
there we go, JB pic.twitter.com/dxhJdMj5sV— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) December 13, 2022
Jaylen Brown continues his 2022-2023 campaign as the picture of efficiency. Brown finished with a team-high 21 points on just fifteen shots.
With Al Horford (personal reasons) and Robert Williams (knee rehab) out, Blake Griffin got the start against the team that drafted him, but it was Grant Williams who took advantage of additional playing time in the front court. Williams scored 14 points with a handful of spin moves and off-the-dribble drives. Malcolm Brogdon continued his stellar play as the C’s sixth man and scored 18 in the loss.
The Celtics have now had two back-to-back poor shooting performances from behind the arc. After hitting just 12-of-40 (30%) three-pointers against the Warriors, a 9-for-39 performance compounded with fifteen turnovers led to the blowout loss and just their second two-game losing streak of the year. LAC made 10-of-25 of their 3’s. The Celtics were also visibly upset after several missed calls frustrated them all night.
Boston will wrap up its road trip back at Crypto Arena against the Los Angeles Lakers tomorrow night at 10 pm EST.