Boston 94 LA Clippers 85 Staples Center

CELTICS  Vs CLIPPERS   94, 85: Paul Pierce scored 25 points and Kevin Garnett had 21 as visiting Boston held off the Clippers one night after blowing a late lead against the Lakers.

The game also was the first matchup between Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul since the Celtics tried to acquire Paul from the New Orleans Hornets for Rondo.

Rondo got the better of Paul with 12 points and 10 assists. Paul had 14 points and five assists but was 3 of 12 from the field.

Ray Allen 15 for the Celtics, who used a late 13-2 run to earn a key split in Los Angeles after losing a five-point lead in their 97-94 loss to the Lakers on Sunday.

Blake Griffin had 24 points and nine rebounds for the Clippers, who are 4-8 in their last 12 games and 0-2 on their six-game homestand. Mo Williams scored 21 off the bench and DeAndre Jordan had 13 rebounds.

Paul was quiet through three quarters with two points, but recorded a three-point play and stepped back for a 3-pointer to pull the Clippers to 73-71.

Bobby Simmons, who just signed a second 10-day contract, gave the Clippers a 78-74 lead on a 3-pointer with 4:22 remaining. Rondo quickly tied it with back-to-back baskets.

Pierce gave the Celtics an 83-78 lead with a clutch 3-pointer from the top of the key at the 2:47 mark. After the Clippers got to 87-84, Garnett made a 21-foot turnaround jumper with 38 seconds left for a five-point lead.

The Clippers finished the first half on an 18-6 run and took a 48-39 halftime lead. The Celtics outscored the Clippers 23-13 in the third quarter to take a 62-61 lead into the fourth quarter.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Kenyon Martin, who sat out the last two games because of bruised ribs, wore a flak jacket and had two rebounds in nine minutes. … The Celtics managed only 11 bench points … Los Angeles outrebounded Boston 45-31.

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