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KEMBA Walker scored 25 points and the Boston Celtics held on to defeat the visiting Los Angeles (LA) Clippers (117-112) on Tuesday night.
Jaylen Brown returned after missing a 111-110 win against the Washington Wizards on Sunday and finished with 18 points. Jayson Tatum and Payton Pritchard contributed 14 points each for Boston, which has won three in a row.
Shortly before tip-off, it was announced that Reggie Jackson would start in place of Clippers leading scorer Kawhi Leonard (26.8), who ended up sitting out because of back spasms.
Jackson scored a season-high 25 points and Paul George finished with 32 points to lead the Clippers, who have lost two in a row.
Tatum had missed six straight shots before making two in a row to give Boston its biggest lead at 111-100 with 4:23 left.
The Clippers whittled the lead to four with 1:53 remaining, but George missed 3s on two straight possessions before making one with 10.9 seconds on the clock to cut the deficit to 114-112.
Daniel Thies then made free throws with 10.2 seconds left to seal the win.
Both teams shot the ball well throughout the game.
The Clippers made nine of their first 12 field-goal attempts, and the Celtics converted 10 of their first 15. Brown made his first five shots and scored 12 points in the opening seven minutes.
The Celtics eventually took a 35-32 lead into the second quarter and both teams continued to shoot better than 60% from the field.
Tatum scored from in close to give Boston its biggest lead at 49-41, but Los Angeles answered back with a 12-3 run and the lead continued to trade hands until the Clippers took a 63-62 lead into the half.
Marcus Morris, Sr., who came in tied with Lou Williams for third on the Clippers in scoring (12.4), suffered a concussion in the final minute of the first half and did not return.
The game stayed close in the third quarter.
Williams hit a long step-back 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left to move the Clippers back ahead 89-88 entering the fourth. — Reuters