Celtics Clippers Basketball

Los Angeles Clippers’ Paul George (13) drives toward the basket as he is pressured by Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum during first half Monday, Dec. 12, 2022, in Los Angeles. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

LOS ANGELES — Paul George scored 26 points, Kawhi Leonard had season highs of 25 points and nine rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the NBA-leading Boston Celtics 113-93 on Monday night.

Leonard also had six assists in one of his best all-around games of a young season that has been interrupted at times while he eases his way back from ACL surgery that cost him all of last season.

Jaylen Brown scored 21 points to lead the Celtics, who dropped two in a row for just the second time this season. They had won eight of 10, including a loss at Golden State on Saturday. Jayson Tatum added 20 points — well below his 30-point average — and 11 rebounds, and Malcolm Brogdon had 18 points off the bench.

Having the Celtics and their 21-7 record in town drew one of the Clippers’ biggest crowds of the season and created a playoff-like atmosphere. Boston fans showed out in the same colored gear as Marcus Smart’s green-hued hair.

But the Clippers made most of the noise.

Coming off a 2-2 East Coast trip, Los Angeles used a few big runs and solid defense to control the first half and take a 56-47 lead at the break.


Leonard and George came out shooting to start the third. They each hit a 3-pointer while combining for 13 straight points that extended the lead to 69-55. Luke Kennard came off the bench and keyed a 7-0 run late, hitting a 3 before John Wall’s jumper put the Clippers ahead 88-72 going into the fourth.

George and Leonard combined for seven straight points in the fourth and Kennard kept hitting, too, pushing the Clippers’ lead to 104-80.

The biggest roar came when Smart missed a pair of free throws, ensuring fans free chicken sandwiches. Smart finished with three points and five fouls.

George and Leonard were part of the Clippers’ 17-8 spurt in the second. Los Angeles ran off 11 points in a row as part of a 20-3 burst in the first.


Celtics: Al Horford (personal reasons) is expected to rejoin the team when it returns home this weekend. … Former Clipper Blake Griffin started in Horford’s place. He picked up a technical foul in the second quarter for grabbing the net.


Clippers: Norman Powell (left groin strain) is progressing well in individual workouts, but there’s no timetable for his return. … Ivica Zubac was a game-time decision to start after experiencing right groin soreness in Saturday’s game. He had four points, three rebounds and five fouls in 17 minutes.


Celtics: At the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday in the second game of a back-to-back on Boston’s second-longest road trip of the season.

Clippers: Host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday in the second of five straight home games.

Related Headlines

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: