BOSTON – Doc Rivers picked up another win in Boston.
The coach who led the Celtics to the 2008 NBA title returned for the first time with the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night and beat Boston 96-88. Jamal Crawford scored 21 points, hitting a pair of 3-pointers 23 seconds apart to help the Clippers pull away in the final 3 minutes.
“It was just a really nice day,” said Rivers, choking back tears in his postgame news conference. “This is, it’s just such a classy place here. . . . They cheer for their teams and they love their athletes. The best decision I ever made was 10 years ago, when I decided to come.”
Chris Paul had 22 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, and Blake Griffin scored 18 points for the Clippers, who won for the seventh time in 10 games. Reunion week resumes for Rivers on Thursday, when he faces former Celtics Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett — now with the Brooklyn Nets.
“It was a really special win,” Crawford said. “You could see his emotions. I don’t know what he was going through inside.”
Jeff Green scored 29 points against his former coach, who was traded to Los Angeles last summer for a first-round draft pick.
“It wasn’t emotional,” said Green, one of just a handful of Celtics remaining from last year’s team. “We were just trying to win a game, plain and simple.”
The Celtics lost to Brooklyn on Tuesday night, facing two of the stars who brought an unprecedented 17th championship to Boston. One night later, Rivers returned to the TD Garden, where the banner for the 2008 title hangs from the rafters.
Rivers got a standing ovation when he walked onto the court for warm-ups, another healthy cheer when he was introduced and a bigger one after a video on the scoreboard ended with, “Thank you, Doc!”
“I’m an emotional guy,” Rivers said beforehand. “I just hope I can coach tonight.”
Warriors 95, Mavericks 93
In Oakland, Stephen Curry made a pull-up jumper with 3 seconds remaining to cap a sensational fourth quarter.
Knicks 83, Bulls 78
In New York, Carmelo Anthony had 30 points and 10 rebounds to help the Knicks pull out a victory over Chicago after blowing a 23-point lead.
Timberwolves 106, 76ers 99
In Minneapolis, Kevin Love had 26 points, 15 rebounds and five assists, and the Timberwolves rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat slumping Philadelphia.
Jazz 122, Kings 101
In Sacramento, Richard Jefferson scored 20 points and Utah halted a four-game skid by cruising past the Kings.
Thunder 116, Grizzlies 100
In Memphis, Russell Westbrook scored 27 points and Kevin Durant added 18 to lead Oklahoma City past the Grizzlies.
Pelicans 111, Pistons 106 (OT)
In New Orleans, Ryan Anderson shook off an unusually poor shooting night from long range, hitting two clutch 3-pointers in overtime.
Spurs 109, Bucks 77
In Milwaukee, Tim Duncan had 21 points and 16 rebounds while playing just 24 minutes and Tony Parker added 15 points.
Magic 92, Bobcats 83,
In Charlotte, Orlando’s Jameer Nelson had 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and the Magic snapped a six-game losing streak with a victory over the Bobcats..