Celtics win fourth straight without injured Rondo

Sun Feb 3, 2013 6:12pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - The Boston Celtics withstood a furious comeback from the Los Angeles Clippers for a 106-104 win on Sunday to record their fourth consecutive victory since losing starting point guard Rajon Rondo to injury.

Paul Pierce drained a crucial three-pointer with two seconds remaining, pushing Boston's edge to 106-101 after a big lead was trimmed to two points in the final minute, and the home team survived despite Jamal Crawford's game-ending three-pointer.

Boston has won four straight since Rondo, the team's third-leading scorer and leader in steals and assists, was ruled out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament

The Clippers, however, are struggling without Chris Paul (knee) who has missed 10 of their last 12 while Los Angeles has dropped six of their last eight.

Behind Pierce's 22 points the Celtics controlled the way early and led by 15 in the fourth quarter before the visitors fought back to make things tense.

Eric Bledsoe, starting in place of Paul, had 23 points and 10 assists while Blake Griffin finished with 20 and 11 rebounds.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)