The Celtics were listed as 11.5-point favorites in the game, and it's safe to say no one could've predicted the final two quarters would unfold as they did.
Gordon Hayward scored 19 points and Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier had 16 apiece for Boston. Even after Irving's exit, the Clippers outscored the Celtics 75-44 and stifled Boston on defense. The four Eastern Conference teams ahead of the Celtics made major upgrades at or after the trade deadline: Nikola Mirotic for the Milwaukee Bucks, Marc Gasol for the Toronto Raptors, Wes Matthews for the Indiana Pacers and Tobias Harris for the Philadelphia 76ers. Since starting the season with a 10-10 record, they have gone 25-10, with All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving (23.8 points and 7.0 assists per game) leading the way.
The Celtics were down by a point when Marcus Smart missed a 3-pointer, then tried to take a charge on Harrell but didn't get the call.
The Celtics were unable to do their usual pregame walkthrough because of a 1 p.m. Boston Bruins game that went into overtime and delayed the changeover from ice to parquet. Coach Brad Stevens said Irving would have more tests on Sunday.
Celtics: Fell to 22-8 at home.