Celtics try to get on track against 20-win Warriors

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Updated: December 29, 2012

The Boston Celtics ran into a buzz saw that is the Los Angeles Clippers two nights ago and look to save face Saturday against the Golden State Warriors in the continuation of a four-game road trip.

The Celtics dropped a 106-77 decision to the streaking Clippers Thursday in
the West Coast portion of the trip and trailed 21-6 at one point in the
opening quarter. They got as close as four points in the second quarter and
later trimmed the deficit to nine points, but never got any closer.

Boston, coming off a Christmas Day win at Brooklyn, committed 18 turnovers,
leading to 26 points for L.A.

“They were unbelievable,” Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said of the Clippers.
“They played well and we played terrible — the perfect storm.”

Kevin Garnett had 16 points and both Paul Pierce and Courtney Lee finished
with 12 for Boston, which has lost five of seven games overall and fell to 5-9
away from Beantown. Boston will wrap up the current trek Sunday at Sacramento.

In milestone news for the Celtics, Pierce is 22 points shy of passing Adrian
Dantley (23,177) for 23rd on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Garnett is just
four games short of passing Sam Perkins (1,286) for 14th on the all-time games
played list.

Meanwhile, the Warriors take aim at a third straight win tonight as they
continue to be one of the top surprises this season.

Golden State won for the 13th time in 17 games on Friday night, besting the
Philadelphia 76ers 96-89 to reach 20 wins (20-10) before New Year’s Day for
the first time since 1980.

The Warriors led by one after the first quarter before outscoring the Sixers
32-18 in the second. Philadelphia did pull to within two points with 24.2
seconds to go, but Golden State hit some clutch free throws to close things
out.

“We’ve been consistent whether we are home or on the road,” Warriors coach
Mark Jackson remarked. “We play with an edge; we play with a belief and now
our job is just to chalk them up in the win column. Mission accomplished
tonight.”

David Lee paced the balanced scoring with 25 points and 12 rebounds, while
Carl Landry also had a double-double with 15 points and 11 boards. Jarrett
Jack added 16 points.

The Warriors improved to 12-2 against the Eastern Conference this season.

Golden State lost its only meeting with Boston, 105-103, last season on March
14 in Oakland. Garnett hit the game-winning jump shot with 6.6 seconds to go
for the Celtics, who have won three straight and five of the past seven
meetings between the teams.

Boston, though, has still lost 12 of its last 16 at Golden State and will host
the Warriors on March 1 at TD Garden.