Happy Boston return for Rivers
BOSTON — Doc Rivers picked up another win in Boston.
The coach who led the Celtics to the 2008 NBA title returned for the first time with the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night and beat Boston 96-88. Jamal Crawford scored 21 points, hitting a pair of 3-pointers 23 seconds apart to help the Clippers pull away in the final 3 minutes.
“It was just a really nice day,” said Rivers, choking back tears in his postgame news conference. “This is, it’s just such a classy place here. … They cheer for their teams and they love their athletes. The best decision I ever made was 10 years ago, when I decided to come.”
Chris Paul had 22 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, and Blake Griffin scored 18 points for the Clippers, who won for the seventh time in 10 games. Reunion week resumes for Rivers on Thursday, when he faces former Celtics Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett — now with the Brooklyn Nets.
“It was a really special win,” Crawford said. “You could see his emotions. I don’t know what he was going through inside.”
Jeff Green scored 29 points against his former coach, who was traded to Los Angeles last summer for a first-round draft pick. Jordan Crawford had 20 points and nine assists, and Brandon Bass had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Celtics, who lost their second in a row.
“It wasn’t emotional,” said Green, one of just a handful of Celtics remaining from last year’s team. “We were just trying to win a game, plain and simple.”
The Celtics lost to Brooklyn on Tuesday night, facing two of the stars who brought an unprecedented 17th championship to Boston. One night later, Rivers returned to the TD Garden, where the banner for the 2008 title hangs from the rafters.
Rivers got a standing ovation when he walked onto the court for warm-ups, another healthy cheer when he was introduced and a bigger one after a video on the scoreboard ended with, “Thank you, Doc!”
“I’m an emotional guy,” Rivers said beforehand. “I just hope I can coach tonight.”
Rivers did just fine, getting 34 points from his bench to just four for Boston’s. The Celtics led by as many as nine points in the first half, but the Clippers erased it in a back-and-forth third quarter in which the lead changed hands five times.
Los Angeles led 73-71 midway through the fourth quarter when Darren Collison scored six straight points. The Clippers had an 85-83 lead with under 3 minutes left when Crawford made back-to-back 3 pointers. Boston cut it to five on Jordan Crawford’s 3-pointer, but never got closer.
The Celtics opened a nine-point lead late in the half, but took a 45-39 lead into the break. The teams traded leads in the third quarter, which ended with the Clippers ahead 66-64.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry made a pull-up jumper with 3 seconds remaining to cap a sensational fourth quarter, rallying Golden State from 18 points down to beat Dallas.
Curry scored 16 of his 33 points in the final period. He finished with nine assists, four rebounds and another big shot in a young career already full of them.
With the clock winding down, Curry dribbled on the perimeter, came off a screen and faked a shot to send Shawn Marion jumping past him. Curry then made a 19-footer to give Golden State the lead for good.
Jose Calderon heaved a desperation shot at the buzzer that was never close.
Harrison Barnes scored 17 points, David Lee added 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Andrew Bogut grabbed a season-high 18 rebounds to help the Warriors overcome 18 turnovers and a sloppy start.
Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki each scored 21 points, and Calderon had 18 as Dallas finished 2-2 on its road trip.
NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and New York pulled out the victory over Chicago after blowing a 23-point lead.
Amare Stoudemire made the tiebreaking jumper with 2:35 left and finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks, who ended a two-game losing streak but made it harder on themselves than necessary with some sloppy second-half offense.
Mike Dunleavy Jr. scored 20 points for the Bulls, who have lost three straight and five of six. They are having a dreadful time scoring, topping out at 75 points in their previous two games and barely surpassing that in this one.
Joakim Noah had 12 points and 11 rebounds in his return after missing a game with a bruised right thigh, but Luol Deng missed his third straight game with a sore left Achilles.
MINNEAPOLIS — Kevin Love had 26 points, 15 rebounds and five assists, and Minnesota rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat slumping Philadelphia.
Ricky Rubio had 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds, Nikola Pekovic added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Robbie Hummel hit a couple of big shots for the Wolves in the fourth quarter to key the comeback.
Spencer Hawes had 20 points and six rebounds for the Sixers, who led 39-20 after a tremendous first quarter and still held a 13-point advantage at halftime. But they turned the ball over 26 times and shot 14 free throws to Minnesota’s 29.
Hummel scored all 10 of his points in the fourth, including a 3-pointer that started the deciding 13-3 run.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Russell Westbrook scored 27 points and Kevin Durant added 18 to lead Oklahoma City over Memphis.
Reserve guard Jeremy Lamb added a career-high 18 points to help the Thunder to their fourth straight win and 12th in 13 games. Neither Westbrook nor Durant played in the fourth quarter, when the Thunder maintained a double-digit lead.
Mike Conley had 20 points for the Grizzlies and Zach Randolph and reserve Jon Leuer scored 17 apiece.
Memphis ended a season-long six-game homestand with the loss.
NEW ORLEANS — Ryan Anderson shook off an unusually poor shooting night from long range, hitting two clutch 3-pointers in overtime that carried New Orleans past Detroit.
Jason Smith scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds for the Pelicans, who snapped a two-game skid while handing Detroit its third straight loss. Anderson finished with 22 points on 6-of-18 shooting, including 4 of 12 from 3-point range. Jrue Holiday added 19 points and Al-Farouq Aminu had 11 points and 14 rebounds.
New Orleans native Greg Monroe had 28 points and 10 rebounds for Detroit, which led by 3 points early in overtime before Anderson’s first 3 of the extra session tied it. Brandon Jennings added 25 points and Rodney Stuckey 20.
MILWAUKEE — Tim Duncan had 21 points and 16 rebounds while playing just 24 minutes and Tony Parker added 15 points in San Antonio’s rout of Milwaukee.
San Antonio had lost three of its last six games after starting the season 13-1, but dominated from the opening tip, scoring the first nine points. An 8-0 run extended the Spurs lead to 27-10.
The Bucks pulled within 41-30 in the second quarter, but the Spurs responded with a 10-0 run. The Spurs led 63-40 at the half and extended it to 92-54 entering the final period.
Kawhi Leonard scored 13 points, Marco Belinelli added 11, and Danny Green and Cory Joseph had 10 apiece for the Spurs, who shot 52.3 percent, despite making only 4 of 17 3-point attempts.
Rookie guard Nate Wolters led the Bucks with a season-high 18 points.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jameer Nelson had 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and Orlando snapped a six-game losing streak by beating Charlotte.
Glen Davis added 17 points and 12 rebounds and Nikola Vucevic chipped in with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Arron Afflalo had 16 points.
Nelson came up with a big 3-pointer late for the Magic, and also had seven rebounds and six assists while outplaying fellow point guard Kemba Walker.
The Bobcats shot 37 percent from the field to see their two-game win streak come to an end.
Al Jefferson led Charlotte with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Walker, who had 31 points against Stephen Curry on Monday night, was held to 10 points on 4 of 18 shooting.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Richard Jefferson scored 20 points and the Jazz halted a four-game skid.
The Jazz led by 24 points heading into the fourth quarter, five points more than their previous largest lead after a quarter this season.
Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward scored 17 points apiece, and the Jazz, who have the NBA’s worst record (5-20), shot 54 percent and scored over 100 points for the sixth time this season.
Alec Burks had 15 points and rookie point guard Trey Burke added 11 points and nine assists for Utah. Jeremy Evans added 11 points.
DeMarcus Cousins had 17 of his 21 points in the second half.
and added 11 rebounds for the Kings, who had their two-game winning streak snapped. Cousins had two early fouls in the opening quarter and logged just seven minutes in the first half.
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