Celtics slip past Clippers 95-89

BOSTON (AP) — Paul Pierce scored 22 points and Rajon Rondo had 16 points and 12 assists, leading the Boston Celtics to a 95-89 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night in a game played on a TD Garden floor that had to be continually wiped because of condensation.

It was the Celtics' second straight win after they lost four of five games.

Boston F Kevin Garnett played his second straight after missing 10 consecutive games with a hyperextended right knee. He finished with 17 points in 30 minutes.

Ray Allen added 15 points for the Celtics, who lost to the Clippers 92-90 in Los Angeles on Dec. 27 when Baron Davis hit a fallaway jumper at the buzzer.

Rasual Butler led the Clippers with 17 points and Davis scored 16 on just 5 of 13 shooting. Craig Smith scored 11 of his 13 in the final quarter for Los Angeles.

The sometimes-slippery parquet floor forced ball boys to mop one end while play was going on at the other for most of the game. Early in the game, it appeared a few players slipped, causing a brief delay with 2:28 left in the first quarter.

Both teams shot under 37 percent in the opening 12 minutes.

Los Angeles, which snapped an eight-game road losing streak at Washington Sunday, fell to 6-15 on the road.

Boston opened a 71-61 edge on Tony Allen's steal and breakaway layup with just under 11 minutes to play before Smith scored either from the floor or free throw line on seven straight possessions, closing the gap to 77-73 with 5:43 left.

But Pierce answered with a 3-pointer, pushing the Celtics lead to seven.

The Clippers never closed the gap to below four points the rest of the way.

The Celtics, who trailed by one at halftime, opened the third quarter by scoring the first six points to move ahead 49-44. They pushed their lead to 58-50 on Rondo's driving basket midway into the quarter and led 64-59 after three.

NOTES: Clippers G Eric Gordon was sidelined for his third straight game with a sprained left big toe. ... Boston Celtics F Glen "Big Baby" Davis said before the game that he's looking to change his image and wants to drop his nickname. ... The Clippers have not won consecutive road games this season. ... Boston coach Doc Rivers said he'll know more Tuesday when F Brian Scalabrine will return from a sore right shoulder, which sidelined him for the second game in a row. ... Clippers C Marcus Camby, who played in college for Massachusetts, was given a nice ovation during pregame introductions.