for this game

Brand, Thomas lead Clippers over struggling Celtics

Dec 28, 2006 - 7:51 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- With Elton Brand and Tim Thomas on fire, the Boston Celtics could not keep up.

Brand had 25 points and 10 rebounds and Thomas added a season-high 25 points as the Los Angeles Clippers routed the struggling Celtics, 100-77, for just their second win in their last nine contests.

Corey Maggette collected 11 points and 11 assists for the Clippers, who shot 51 percent (36-of-71) from the field and dished out 23 assists.

"We just wanted to go out there and play as hard as we can," Maggette said. "Get a win and try and spark our team on to a winning streak. This is definitely a steppingstone.

"It is big to get our team a win because we really need it. We are just trying to stay afloat and this could be the part where we take off. We have a couple of more games at home before we take a long road trip."

Despite trailing first-place Toronto by only two games in the woeful Atlantic Division, Boston has dropped four straight contests since a season-high five-game winning streak.

On Wednesday, Brand and Thomas combined to shoot 19-of-30 from the field and 9-of-12 from the line to overwhelm the Celtics, who were without leading scorer Paul Pierce for the third game with a stress reaction in his foot.

"Pierce played in those five (wins) in a row and Wally Szczerbiak played in those five in a row and they have been hurt since," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "There is your answer (to why Boston is struggling)."

Szczerbiak returned after missing four games with a sprained right ankle.

"It felt great to be out there with my teammates fighting and running up and down the floor playing the game I love," Szczerbiak said. "It's just unfortunate that we got blown out. They (Clippers) played well, you have to give them credit. We just have to get back to the drawing board."

The duo was the perfect inside-outside threat, as Brand used an array of low-post moves and Thomas did most of his damage on long jumpers. However, both said that the defensive effort sparked the victory.

"Coach (Mike Dunleavy) has been talking about our defense and not getting deflections or getting blocked shots and running," Brand said. "So that's what we did. We defended the ball well and got the deflections and some blocks."

Sebastian Telfair scored 18 points for the Celtics, who shot a putrid 32 percent (23-of-72) to tie their lowest scoring output of the season. Boston also scored 77 points in a loss vs. New York on November 29.

  • NBA
    BOSTON 77

    Dec 28 1:02 AM

  • NBA
    BOSTON 62

    Dec 28 12:30 AM

  • NBA
    BOSTON 43

    Dec 27 11:43 PM

  • NBA
    BOSTON 28

    Dec 27 11:12 PM