Paul hurts ankle as Clippers club Celtics

Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:45am EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - Doc Rivers couldn't resist needling Los Angeles Lakers' fans after Paul Pierce went down with an ankle injury Monday night.

"It is his ankle, which is good news, because when he went down I thought it was his knee," Rivers said. "Of course, the Lakers' fans thought they were going to bring out the wheelchair at some point, but they didn't do that, so that was good."

Rivers was referring to the 2008 NBA Finals when he was coach of the Boston Celtics and Pierce was one of the team's stars. Pierce left the court in a wheelchair with an apparent leg injury, only to return a short time later and resume playing.

Pierce's ankle sprain put more of a scare into the Clippers than the Celtics did. Austin Rivers scored 16 points, and Los Angeles rolled past Boston 114-90 at Staples Center.

DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Crawford added 15 points apiece for the Clippers, who won their third consecutive decision. Jordan also had 13 rebounds and three blocks in three quarters.

Chris Paul finished with 13 points and 14 assists, Wesley Johnson scored 11 points, and Jeff Green contributed 10 for Los Angeles (46-27). Paul's 14 assists equaled the entire output of the Celtics, while the Clippers had 29.

Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 24 points, while Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart each scored 13. The Celtics (43-31) had their four-game winning streak snapped.

The Clippers' shooting was the difference. The Clippers made 52.4 percent of their shots to 34.8 percent for the Celtics. Los Angeles also connected on 11 of 25 (44 percent) 3-point tries to seven of 19 (36.8 percent) for Boston.

"Any team in this league, if they're knocking down shots, it's tough to guard," said Smart, who connected on six of 12 shots but missed all four of his 3-point attempts. "They were very comfortable out there, and we kind of let them get into their zone. It was hard to stop them in the second half."   Continued...

Mar 28, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers (25) shoots between Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier (12) and center Tyler Zeller (44) in the first half during the NBA game at the Staples Center. Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports