Brand, Cassell lead Clippers past Celtics
Boston, MA (Sports Network) – Elton Brand had 30 points and 11 boards and Sam
Cassell tallied 23 points, eight assists and six rebounds to lead the Los
Angeles Clippers past the Boston Celtics, 98-81, at the TD Banknorth Garden.
Brand and Cassell sparked a 19-3 surge to end the game for the Clippers, who
have won two straight. Cuttino Mobley added 18 points and Chris Kaman
registered 14 points and 12 boards for Los Angeles, which has won seven of
eight games to move 10 games over .500 (27-17).
Wally Szczerbiak had 18 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Celtics,
who have lost four in a row. Paul Pierce also had 18 points for Boston, losers
in five of six contests.
After Szczerbiak cut the Boston deficit to 79-78 with a jumper with 5:30 left,
Brand and Cassell combined to score all 12 points during a 12-0 surge that put
the Clippers back in command of the game.
Brand capped the run with a bucket at the 2:19 mark and Los Angeles won going
The only points the Celtic got in the final minutes came on a three-point play
by Pierce with 2:04 on the clock.
“We have to make sure that Wally and Paul have shots at the end of the game,”
said Boston head coach Doc Rivers. “I’m disappointed in the loss. We played
hard, but we’re not playing smart.”
The Clippers, who got only eight points from their bench, ended a three-game
slide to the Celtics.
Kendrick Perkins had 11 points and 11 boards for Boston, which lost for just
the second time in nine games at home.
The Clippers held a six-point lead midway through the first, but were ahead
by just one, 26-25, after the opening 12 minutes.
Los Angeles created some breathing room in the second after jumping to a 34-27
lead early in the second. Boston responded with five straight points, but the
Clippers then used a 9-2 spurt to go ahead 43-34 with 5:32 remaining.
The Clippers later held a 10-point advantage in the second at 51-41 after Sam
Cassell’s basket with 2:10 left and Los Angeles went into the break ahead
Los Angeles led 77-66 going into the fourth.
Boston’s Al Jefferson left the game after suffering a severe right ankle
sprain. He had x-rays, which came back negative, and is not expected to return
until after the All-Star break at the earliest…Delonte West had 11 points
and Michael Olowokandi had 10 points for Boston…LA improved to 11-10 on the
road…Boston fell to 14-11 at home.