The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Clippers faced off Thursday night at Staples Center, and the team from L.A. entered the contest with the longest active winning streak in the entire NBA. A 106-77 win over Boston has increased that streak to 15, and in a game that was never close, Los Angeles showed yet again that they are an ever-improving ball club.
On paper, this game belongs to the Clippers every time, and the first quarter began just as the stats indicated it should. L.A. came out hot, as they took an 18-4 lead halfway through the opening period. Boston made just two of their first 10 shots, while Los Angeles was shooting near 70 percent to begin the game.
The second quarter began more competitively than the first. The pace was fast, the scoring was even and no one team was able to establish momentum. Unfortunately for Boston, they trailed by double-digits, so simply matching L.A.’s play wasn't what they needed and trailed 60-47 at half.
The third quarter saw L.A. maintain their lead all the way through, and the frustrations and physicality of the Celtics finally began to show. The contest got chippy, and with both teams playing at a frantic pace, it was easy to see emotions stirring on both sides of the floor. The fourth period was much of the same, and with “the wave” as the only way of keeping the crowd involved, the home team ran away with this one in lopsided fashion.
The Clippers are the hottest team in the NBA heading into the New Year, and if they keep dominating the competition, they’ll be ready to take on whoever comes their way in the 2013 postseason.