by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad
The Celtics led by as many as 19 but blew a big fourth quarter lead to give the Clippers a chance down the stretch. With under a minute to play and the Celtics leading by two, Avery Bradley drew an offensive foul on Jamal Crawford to protect the lead and give the ball back to Boston. On the next possession, Vinny Del Negro foolishly chose not to foul to send the Celtics to the line. Paul Pierce made the Clippers pay by nailing an ice cold three-pointer right in Matt Barnes’ face with 2.5 seconds left to seal the Celtics’ fourth-straight victory. The Truth led Boston with 22 points, 5 boards and 4 assists and Jason Terry chipped in with 13 points and 6 dimes. Eric Bledsoe finished with 23 points, 10 dimes and 7 rebounds, Blake Griffin dropped 20 and grabbed 11 boards and Jamal Crawford scored 23 off the pine.
The Lakers blew an 18-point second half lead and barely escaped the Motor City with a dub. With under two minutes to go, Kobe (18 points, 5 assists) airballed a jumper and was seething. He demanded the ball on the Lakers next possession and drove past Kyle Singler (11 points, 6 boards) and was fouled on a tough layup that broke a 95-all tie. Bryant finished his breakfast to put the Lakers up for good. After a Piston bucket, Earl Clark missed two free throws and Detroit had a chance to take the lead. Will Bynum (18 points, 10 assists) drove the lane but his layup attempt just rimmed out. Steve Nash grabbed the rebound and was fouled but missed both of his free throws (in all seriousness, has that ever happened in his career?) to give the Pistons a chance with 1.2 seconds left. Singler threw an inbounds alley-oop to Andre Drummond (9 points, 11 rebounds) but the rookie couldn’t gather the ball and slam it home and the Lakers walked off the court with a one-point victory over Detroit. Pau Gasol scored 23 points and grabbed 10 boards and Earl Clark notched a 17-10 double-double. Greg Monroe scored 20 and grabbed 12 rebounds.
Chris Bosh had a huge fourth quarter to push the Heat to the finish line. Bosh scored 13 in the quarter (the Raptors only scored 18) and his three-pointer with 2:42 left put the Heat up 90-83 and proved to be the dagger. After that shot, the Heat went on a 10-2 run to close the game and improved their record to 24-2 when they score at least 100 points. LeBron finished with 30 points, 8 boards, 7 dimes and 2 steals. Bosh scored 28 and DWade chipped in with 23, 5 and 5. DeMar DeRozan finished with 27 points and Rudy Gay scored 29 in his first start with Toronto.