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USA News

Jrue Holiday and Joe Mazzulla bluntly assess the Celtics’ loss to the Clippers

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Four of Boston’s starters were held to single-digit scoring Saturday night.

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Jrue Holiday didn’t shy away from talking about the Celtics’ blowout loss Saturday night. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The 2023-24 Celtics have been one of the most dominant NBA teams all season long, but Saturday night was far from that. Boston lost resoundingly, 115-96, to the Los Angeles Clippers at home.

Speaking after the game, Celtics starting guard Jrue Holiday was blunt about the team’s performance.

“Good old fashioned, darling,” Holiday said. “They did everything better. Rebound, transition, 50-50 ball. It seemed like they had a head start. … It’s definitely humbling to come home and get your butt kicked, but we know it’s a long season, we know we can learn from it.

Virtually everyone on Boston’s roster was ice cold offensively against the Clippers. Outside of Jayson Tatum’s 21 points, the rest of the Celtics starters totaled just 17 points. Al Horford went 0 for 5 and did not record a point. Derrick White shot 0 of 8 and scored just two points. Jaylen Brown shot just 3-of-13 from the field, and Holiday shot 2-of-11.

In fact, Boston’s second and third leading scorers were bench players: Payton Pritchard (12) and Luke Kornet (11).

On the other side, the Clippers dominated offensively, especially in the second and third quarters. During those stretches, they outscored the Celtics 65-39. Kawhi Leonard led the way with 26 points.

Joe Mazzulla noted the effect the Celtics’ failures began to have on their defense over time.

“The defense on the field in the first quarter was really good,” Mazzulla told reporters. “But our ineffective offense put pressure on our defense…and then our defense kind of cracked.”

Boston will have the opportunity to redeem itself Monday night against the New Orleans Pelicans. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. from the TD Garden.


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