Boston Celtics at L.A. Clippers
When: 10:30 PM ET, Monday, March 11, 2019
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
LOS ANGELES – The Boston Celtics are coming together on the West Coast and are looking for a four-game sweep of the California trip when they visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. The Celtics fumbled through losses in five of six games before hitting the road and knocking off Golden State, Sacramento and the Lakers in the first three stops of the trip.
Boston All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving led the way with 30 points on 12-of-18 shooting in Saturday’s 120-107 win over the Lakers and is looking forward to the stretch run. “Throwing yourself in the game, throwing yourself in the rest of the regular season, throw yourself in the team,” Irving told reporters. “We have everything to gain. And for us, we’ve dealt with expectations, we’ve dealt with the outside pressures of that influence in our locker room and there’s no more time for that. It’s about us, and it’s about us competing and being well organized every single time we are out there, and it starts with me.” The Clippers are in the playoff race as well and have their sights set on the No. 6 spot while trying to hold off the San Antonio Spurs in eighth. A winner of four in a row, Los Angeles enters the week percentage points shy of the sixth-place Jazz (37-28) and is pulling away from the ninth-place Sacramento Kings (33-32).
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, NBCS Boston, FS Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE CELTICS (41-26): One big difference on the trip is the uptick in production from former All-Star swingman Gordon Hayward, who averaged 19 points on 24-of-34 shooting in the three wins after scoring in single digits in five straight contests. “I think I’m trying not to judge my performance based on whether I’m shooting the ball well or not, but I think I’ve been aggressive in each of the games and I’ve definitely made winning plays for our team,” Hayward told reporters. “The thing that I’m most aware of is that we’ve won all of those. They definitely haven’t all been pretty, each one of them has been different. But we found a way to win and that’s important. Hopefully we can close this trip out with a win, too.” Saturday’s victory improved Boston to 17-16 on the road.
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (38-29): Guard Lou Williams broke out for 40 points in Friday’s 118-110 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and buried several key jumpers down the stretch. “We’ve got great energy in the locker room right now,” Williams told reporters. “Guys are playing at a high clip, playing with a lot of confidence. So, to make a big shot right there, especially with the stretch that we have coming up, it just felt good at that moment.” That win kicked off a six-game homestand for Los Angeles, which will host playoff-hopefuls Portland, Brooklyn and Indiana in addition to Boston during the stay.
1. Clippers SF Danilo Gallinari scored a season-high 34 points on Friday and is averaging 24 points on 52.5 percent shooting in four games this month.
2. Williams went 4-of-6 from 3-point range on Friday after hitting 6-of-30 over his previous six contests.
3. Los Angeles rallied from 28 points down to earn a 123-112 win at Boston on Feb. 9.