Clippers end road trip with loss to Celtics in 2OT thriller

Garrett Chorpenning

The L.A. Clippers entered Thursday night's game against the Boston Celtics having played just one overtime game all season — which happened to be against Boston back in November.

The Clippers won that one, 107-104, thanks to some late-game heroics from Paul George and Patrick Beverley. The two scored all 10 of L.A.'s points in the overtime period.

Beverley wouldn't suit up for Thursday's game, missing his fourth-straight contest with a groin injury. Meanwhile, George exited before halftime and would miss the remainder of the game after re-injuring his left hamstring.

As the fourth quarter wound down to a close, it became increasingly apparent that the two teams would need extra time to settle things once again. Only this time, it would require two overtime periods — L.A.'s first double-overtime game since November 2016.

With the All-Star break on the horizon, the Clippers and Celtics left everything they had on the floor. In total, nine players logged at least 41 minutes of action and 10 players scored in double-figures.

Unfortunately for the Clippers, things didn't go their way in the final overtime period, as the Celtics pulled out a 133-141 victory. 

The game was as tightly-contested as can be down the stretch. Neither side could make enough of a dent to feel comfortable, either. The largest lead by either team in the final seven minutes of the game was five. In total, the game was tied on 19 separate occasions, and there were nine lead changes. Boston led by as many as 10, while the Clippers started the game on a 7-0 run — their largest lead of the night.

But as good as this game was to watch, it wasn't without controversy. With less than 30 seconds to play in the first overtime period, Lou Williams was fouled in the corner by Gordon Hayward. Almost simultaneously with the whistle, Williams hoisted up a three-pointer, which fell through the net. But before Williams could head to the line for a chance at a four-point play that would have put the Clippers up by a point, the bucket was waved off by officials.

The crew had determined that Williams' shot had come after the initial contact, and that he wasn't in a shooting motion when it was called. Williams argued with the officials and was visibly upset, but the call wouldn't be reversed.

The call could have gone either way, but if Williams wasn't already in his shooting motion, he was as close as he could be. 

Even with the controversial play, Williams had a career night for the Clippers. The 33-year-old guard went for a season-high 35 points off the bench, along with six rebounds, eight assists, a steal and two blocks. Montrezl Harrell, his second-unit co-star, went for 24 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, two steals and three blocks.

L.A. ran out of gas down the stretch, and the loss resulted in a losing road trip for the Clippers. The team went 1-3 against Boston, the Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers.

The Clippers will enter the All-Star break at 37-18, sitting just ahead of the Utah Jazz for the third seed in the Western Conference. 

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