Boston MA — Every once in a while, Derrick White looks like the most important player on the floor, and tonight was one of those occasions.
The Boston Celtics needed helpful contributions from the entire supporting cast Thursday night to edge the Los Angeles Clippers 116-110 and finish the homestand on a good note.
Despite Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combining for 58 points and 18 rebounds, the Celtics’ role players outplayed their counterparts and that was the difference. Marcus Smart and Derrick White put on a defensive clinic throughout as they forced several Clipper jumpshooters into uncharacteristic misses and Paul George into a game high 4 turnovers.
Grant Williams and Robert Williams also added more two-way dominance, each owning their defensive assignments and not missing a shot offensively. Robert continues to look more fluid on the defensive side and got 2 deflections on a run-enabling play midway through the third.
The Celtics played without Malcolm Brogdon tonight, but were able to find enough playmaking and shot creation to evade a late rally by Los Angeles.
Boston improved to a league best 26-10 with the win and will now travel west for 4 games starting New Years Day in Denver.