The Boston Celtics made little noise at Thursday's NBA trade deadline while some of their chief competitors in the Eastern Conference made significant improvements, and then they lost on a buzzer-beater that night. With games against some of those East rivals on the horizon, the Celtics will try to gain a split of a two-game homestand when they host the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.
Former Celtic Rajon Rondo buried the game-winner to lift the Los Angeles Lakers to a 129-128 win over Boston in the hours after the deadline, snapping the Celtics' five-game winning streak. "I thought the basketball Gods rewarded the right team," Boston coach Brad Stevens told reporters. "I hate to say that, but we had a chance to wrap that game up with a rebound but that was kind of the whole night." With the loss, the Celtics fell back into fourth place in the East behind the Indiana Pacers, who were in the process of routing the Clippers 116-92. Playing its first game since trading away leading scorer Tobias Harris, Los Angeles had 21 turnovers in the loss.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), NBCS Boston) LINE: Celtics -8.5
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (30-26): The Harris trade was the first of three moves Los Angeles made prior to the deadline, which left the team with a makeshift roster at Indiana. "It was tough, especially when you're playing against a very good team like Indiana," forward Danilo Gallinari told reporters. "We didn't do a very good job tonight. We started pretty well, but we were not able to keep up for the while game." The Clippers will soon welcome center Ivica Zubac, forwards Michael Beasley and JaMychal Green and guard Garrett Temple -- all acquired in deals with the Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies.
ABOUT THE CELTICS (35-20): Although Boston's moves were limited to sending little-used reserve Jabari Bird to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for a pick, many feel it will be in position to land New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis in a trade this summer. Meanwhile, they press on with a group led by Kyrie Irving (24 points and eight assists versus the Lakers) and Jayson Tatum (22 points, 10 rebounds), whose name was thrown about in rumors leading up to the deadline. "I'm happy to still be on the team," Tatum told reporters Thursday. "I'm glad that it's over with for now."
1. Clippers PF Montrezl Harrell had a team-high 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting in the loss to the Pacers.
2. Celtics PF Daniel Theis is 18-for-21 from the floor over his last four games and has made his last five 3-point attempts.
3. The road team won both meetings last season.
PREDICTION: Celtics 115, Clippers 100 Bet Now
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