Celtics Blow 28-Point Lead, Lose to Clippers After Kyrie Irving's Knee Injury

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2019

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 9: Garrett Temple #17 of the LA Clippers dunks against the Boston Celtics on February 9, 2019 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE  (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brian Babineau/Getty Images

Adding insult to injury, the Boston Celtics blew a 28-point lead on their home floor as they dropped Saturday night's game against the Los Angeles Clippers, 123-112.

According to ESPN Stats and Info, it marked the largest come-from-behind victory in Clippers history and was the team's second 25-point comeback win this season.

Meanwhile, ESPN Stats and Info also noted that it was the sixth time in the last 20 seasons the Celtics have blown a 25-point lead and lost, twice as many as any other team during that span. That historic collapse certainly did not sit well with the TD Garden crowd:

After all, this was a game the Celtics appeared to have in hand from the start.

Boston jumped out to a 23-point lead in the opening 12 minutes after doubling up Los Angeles with 43 first-quarter points. The Celtics eventually grew their lead to 28 with just under five minutes to play in the first half.

Then, things went downhill.

Right after the Celtics grabbed their largest lead of the night, Irving came up limping while trying to defend a three-pointer. Not only did the shot go in, but the All-Star point guard also would exit the game moments later and would not return due to a right knee sprain.

Meanwhile, the Clippers started to chip away. They managed to cut the deficit down to 21 points by halftime, setting the tone for a big second half.

After allowing 74 points in the first half, Los Angeles held Boston to just 12 points in the third quarter. By the end of the period, the margin had been trimmed all the way down to five.

The Clippers completed the comeback and then some by outscoring the Celtics 42-26 over the final 12 minutes. Just like that, Boston saw a 28-point lead turn into an 11-point loss.

What makes this loss even more stunning is the fact it came just two days after Boston blew an 18-point lead to the Los Angeles Lakers on the same court.

As NBA on ESPN pointed out, this game featured a number of feats:

The Clippers had eight players in double figures, with Montrezl Harrell leading the way with 21. They shot 47.6 percent from the floor while draining 12 triples and went went 31-of-40 from the free-throw line.

On the other side, a balanced effort couldn't lead Boston to victory. Seven players scored 10-plus points, and Gordon Hayward's 19 were a team-high. The Celtics shot just 42.4 percent from the floor, including 9-of-26 from three-point range.

The Clippers improved to 31-26 on the season, opening up their lead on the eighth spot in the Western Conference to a full game over the Sacramento Kings. The Celtics dropped to 35-21 with the loss, falling a half-game behind the Philadelphia 76ers for fourth in the East.

Of course, the loss, as stunning as it may be, takes a backseat in Boston. All attention will be on Irving's health moving forward.

Related

    Raptors Slay One Giant, but Another Awaits

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Raptors Slay One Giant, but Another Awaits

    Grant Hughes
    via Bleacher Report

    Warriors Open as Big Favorites Over Raptors 💰

    Who ya got?

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Warriors Open as Big Favorites Over Raptors 💰

    Who ya got?

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    Kawhi Sends Raptors to NBA Finals 🔥

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Kawhi Sends Raptors to NBA Finals 🔥

    Paul Kasabian
    via Bleacher Report

    3 Potential Replacements for Baynes

    Boston Celtics logo
    Boston Celtics

    3 Potential Replacements for Baynes

    Hardwood Houdini
    via Hardwood Houdini