Doc Rivers was none too happy with how his team nearly squandered a 19-point lead before barely hanging on for a 106-104 win against the Los Angeles Clippers.
"We stopped playing; we stopped playing," said Rivers, adding that this was the second straight game - both wins - that the C's eased up on a team but still managed to get the victory. "I hate it as a coach you tell them that, and they're all agreeing with you."
But the upside is that Sunday's win was the kind of game that not that long ago, would have easily resulted in a Celtics loss.
"It shows we're getting better, more comfortable, you know a lot of steps," said Boston's Jeff Green. "We just gotta keep going, taking the positives and getting better, taking the negatives and learning from them."
Certainly the biggest negative for Boston (24-23) on Sunday was the fact that their control was nearly lost in the game's final minute.
And while the Celtics did their part in clinging to the victory, they got a bit of assistance from a questionable decision by Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro in the game's final seconds.
After Boston's Avery Bradley drew an offensive foul against Clippers guard Jamal Crawford with 26.5 seconds to play and Boston ahead by two points, Del Negro had to decide whether to defend for the full 24 seconds on the shot clock or look to foul sooner and get the ball back.
Paul Pierce milked the clock down to the final second, launched a 3-pointer that went in and left the Clippers with 2.5 seconds to play and trailing by five points.
Celtics proving they can win the close ones
CSN New England | Feb 4