Jayson Tatum scored 34 points and Kemba Walker had 24 as the Boston Celtics rallied from an 11-point, third-quarter deficit to earn a 119-115 road victory Friday over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Carsen Edwards scored 16 points off the bench as the Celtics won without Jaylen Brown, who sat out due to left knee soreness.
The Clippers and Celtics played a game without Doc Rivers as the head coach for either team for the first time since the 2003-04 season. Rivers is now the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Kawhi Leonard scored 28 points and Lou Williams contributed 18 for the Clippers, who were without Paul George because of swelling in a toe on his right foot. Los Angeles was back home after a 4-2 road trip but saw its six-game winning streak at Staples Center come to an end.
The Clippers led by as many as 16 points late in the second quarter and went into halftime with a 62-51 advantage.
The Celtics took over in the third quarter, outscoring Los Angeles 38-20 while shooting 15 of 24 from the field (62.5 percent) to take an 89-82 lead. Boston’s first advantage came at 74-73 on a 3-pointer by Grant Williams with 4:37 left in the third. The basket capped an 11-0 run that started with another Williams trey and included five points from Tatum.
The Clippers took a 112-111 lead with 46.1 seconds remaining on a 3-pointer by Williams off a cross-court pass from Leonard. However, the Celtics moved right back on top 113-112 with 32.3 seconds left after a jumper in the lane by Walker.
After Leonard missed a jumper from the side of the lane that would have given the Clippers the lead again, Boston’s Tristan Thompson made two free throws for a 115-112 advantage.
Leonard missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with 15.8 seconds remaining, and Williams and Walker made two free throws each for the Celtics down the stretch to seal the victory.
The Celtics went 2-1 on the California portion of their five-game Western Conference road trip that continues in Phoenix on Sunday.
In addition to George, the Clippers also were without guard Patrick Beverley (knee) for the seventh consecutive game.
–Field Level Media