BOSTON — Jayson Tatum had 39 points and the Boston Celtics pulled away from the Los Angeles Clippers in the second overtime to win 141-133 on Thursday night.

Marcus Smart added 31 points and Gordon Hayward finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Kemba Walker added 19 points and nine rebounds. Tatum and Smart combined for 16 of Boston’s 27 points in the overtime periods.

The Celtics have won seven straight at home and eight of their last nine overall.

The Clippers played most of the game without Paul George, who left in the second quarter with a left hamstring strain. Lou Williams led Los Angeles with 35 points. Kawhi Leonard had 28 points and 11 rebounds, and Montrezl Harrell finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds.

George played 15 minutes, scoring four points on 2-of-7 shooting before heading to the locker room.

The first meeting between the teams on Nov. 20 was also decided in overtime. The Clippers held on for a 107-104 win.

The Celtics took a 134-130 lead in the second OT on a driving layup by Smart and another by Tatum.

Harrell got a dunk on the Clippers’ next trip up the floor. But Hayward responded with a 3 to increase Boston’s lead to 137-132.

Tatum was called for an offensive foul, but Hayward blocked a runner by Williams off his body to force the turnover with 55 seconds left.

Hayward hit four free throws in the final minute to help close it out.

The All-Star break comes at a perfect time for both teams as they try to get healthy.

Clippers guard Patrick Beverley missed his fourth straight game with a sore right groin. The Celtics played without Jaylen Brown, who has a left calf contusion.
Smart started in place of Brown and scored the Celtics’ first 10 points, digging them out of an early 7-0 deficit. Smart and Tatum combined for 24 of Boston’s 30 first-quarter points. It helped offset a 15-point opening period by Leonard.

Boston limited Leonard to two points in the second quarter but had no answers on the inside for Harrell, who had 16 points in the first half on 5-of-5 shooting from the field.

DURING THE game’s first timeout, the Celtics surprised fans with a video presentation to announce Kevin Garnett’s No. 5 will be retired during the 2020-21 season. It will hang in the open space next to the No. 34 of teammate Paul Pierce, who alongside Garnett led Boston to its most recent title in 2008.

Pierce’s jersey was retired by the Celtics in 2018. Garnett, in his first year in eligibility for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, is expected to be on the list of finalists when it it is unveiled during NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago.

THUNDER 123, PELICANS 118: Danilo Gallinari scored 29 points, Chris Paul had 14 points and 12 assists, and Oklahoma City  won at New Orleans.

Zion Williamson scored 32 points for New Orleans, his second straight game scoring more than 30, but Gallinari’s clutch shooting – he had 11 points in the fourth quarter – kept the Pelicans at bay.

New Orleans, which trailed by as many as 13 points in the third quarter, rallied behind Williamson’s dominant inside play to take several slim leads inside the final six minutes.

But after Lonzo Ball’s corner 3 gave the Pelicans a 111-110 lead, Gallinari hit a fall-away in the paint and followed up by rattling in a 3. He added free throws and a left-wing pull-up in the final minutes, the last making it 121-115 with a half-minute left.

NOTES

CLIPPERS: The NBA fined Paul George $35,000, two days after he was critical of the officiating after his team lost to the Philadelphia 76ers.

The NBA said George was fined for those comments, and noted that the amount of the fine “also reflects his multiple prior violations of the rule prohibiting public criticism of the officiating.”

This marks at least the fifth time George has been fined in his career for such comments, and this came with the stiffest fine – topping the $25,000 he was docked on two other occasions.

George pointed out the Clippers were called for eight more fouls than Philadelphia in the 76ers’ 110-103 win at home, referring to that disparity as “home-court cooking.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.