Boston at L.A. Clippers
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
LOS ANGELES – The Boston Celtics have lost a season-worst four straight games and they look to break out of their sudden funk when they visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. Boston opened a four-game road excursion with Tuesday’s 108-107 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, which followed up Sunday’s stunning 103-95 home loss to the Orlando Magic, a squad now tied for the worst record in the NBA.
All-Star guard Kyrie Irving scored 33 points in Tuesday’s loss but didn’t receive a chance at a game-winning shot as teammate Marcus Smart grabbed a rebound with 5.7 seconds left and never gave up the ball before badly missing a 3-point attempt as time expired. “He felt like he had a good look, and we’ve got to live with the results after that,” Irving said afterward. The Clippers have dropped their last two games after winning 12 of the previous 15 to salvage their season. Power forward Blake Griffin had 32 points, matched his season best of 12 rebounds and posted a season-high 12 assists during Monday’s 126-118 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves and is averaging 26.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists over the past four games.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, NBCS Boston, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE CELTICS (34-14): Post player Al Horford is in the second season of a four-year, $113 million contract with the squad and accepted a complimentary role this season with Irving and injured small forward Gordon Hayward joining the mix. His teamwork and unselfishness were noted by NBA coaches, who voted Horford to a spot on the All-Star team when the reserves were announced Tuesday. “It makes me feel good because I feel like I’ve always taken a lot of pride in playing the right way and putting the team first always,” said Horford, who has only eight 20-point outings this season. “The coaches have seen that and have rewarded me over the years. It’s a big honor for me.”
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (23-23): Shooting guard Lou Williams has kept Los Angeles in the playoff hunt with his stellar play that includes scoring 20 or more points in 15 of the past 16 games. But his solid campaign and career-best 23.3 scoring average didn’t result in an All-Star spot and Williams simply tweeted “Lol” when the television show announcing the reserves concluded. The team’s backcourt depth has been thin lately with Austin Rivers (heel) missing the last 12 games and coach Doc Rivers said his son will likely miss two more weeks.
1. The Clippers have won six of the past eight overall meetings, as well as the last five played at the Staples Center.
2. Smart scored 22 points against the Lakers – one shy of his season best.
3. Los Angeles C DeAndre Jordan (ankle) is listed as doubtful and could miss his sixth straight contest.