Boston Celtics vs LA Clippers Livestream
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Returning from a triumphant 3-0 road expedition, the Boston Celtics are set to host the Los Angeles Clippers in their second and final encounter this season. The Celtics emerged victorious in the initial clash, securing a resounding 142-108 win in Los Angeles on December 23. Notably, key players were absent in that game, with Kawhi Leonard and Mason Plumlee on the sidelines for the Clippers, while Kristaps Porzingis, Luke Kornet, and Svi Mykhailiuk were unavailable for the Celtics. Last season's series concluded in a 1-1 tie, with each team claiming victory on their respective home courts. Historically, the Celtics hold a dominant 93-46 record against the Clippers and boast a formidable 48-17 record in games played in Boston.
Maintaining their pole position in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics stand 3.5 games ahead of the second-placed Milwaukee Bucks and 5 games ahead of the third-placed Philadelphia 76ers. Further down the standings, they enjoy a comfortable 7-game lead over the fourth-placed New York Knicks and a 7.5-game cushion over the fifth-placed Cleveland Cavaliers. The Celtics' home court dominance stands at an impressive 20-1, and they carry a commendable 7-3 record in their last 10 outings, with a noteworthy 11-4 record against Western Conference opponents. Currently riding a three-game winning streak, the Celtics look to extend their success in the upcoming clash.
Meanwhile, the Clippers, positioned third in the Western Conference, trail the leaders, Oklahoma City and Minnesota, by a mere 2 games. Holding a half-game lead over the fourth-placed Denver Nuggets and a four-game advantage over the fifth-placed Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Pelicans, and Sacramento Kings, the Clippers have positioned themselves well for playoff contention. Their road record stands at 10-10, complemented by an impressive 8-2 record in their last 10 games, including a four-game win streak.
Both teams enter the game without their starting centers. Kristaps Porzingis, nursing an ankle injury sustained in Thursday's game against the Heat, is listed as doubtful for this matchup. The Celtics are likely to turn to Al Horford as his replacement. On the Clippers' side, Ivica Zubac is sidelined with a right calf strain, expecting to miss at least four weeks, paving the way for Mason Plumlee to step into the starting role.
As the Celtics embark on a crucial seven-game homestand, facing opponents like the Clippers, Pelicans, Pacers, Lakers, Grizzlies, Hawks, and Wizards, the Clippers aim to navigate through a challenging seven-game road trip, featuring matchups against the Cavaliers, Wizards, Pistons, Heat, and Hawks. Both teams carry momentum into this clash, with the Clippers particularly showcasing their prowess since acquiring James Harden from Philadelphia on November 17, leading the league with a 25-7 record over that span. The Celtics, despite their earlier triumph in Los Angeles, must approach this matchup with caution, considering the Clippers' remarkable performance and recent form. The absence of key players adds an intriguing layer of uncertainty to the contest, making it a must-watch for NBA enthusiasts.