Los Angeles, CA – The Boston Celtics had little success on Thursday slowing down the red-hot Los Angeles Clippers, who went wire-to-wire for their 15th consecutive win -- the longest winning streak in the NBA in five seasons.
Matt Barnes made five of Los Angeles' 12 makes from behind the arc en route to a team-high 21 points, as the Clippers walked over the Celtics, 106-77, at the Staples Center.
Jamal Crawford chipped in 17 points and Blake Griffin totaled 15 points and eight rebounds for the Clippers, who have won by double digits each of the last seven games during their franchise-best stretch and have not tasted defeat since a loss to the New Orleans Hornets on Nov. 26.
The Celtics were the last team to win 15 in a row when they reeled off 19 straight in the 2008-09 campaign.
Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, two vital cogs during that run, paced Boston with 16 and 12 points, respectively, in the loss, the club's fifth in its last seven games.
The Clippers came storming out of the gates, making nine of their first 13 shots to grab a 21-6 lead on a Caron Butler 3-pointer just 6:19 into the game.
"They were unbelievable," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said of the Clippers. "They played well and we played terrible -- the perfect storm."
Garnett's buzzer-beating jumper pulled Boston within 30-20, and consecutive 3- pointers by Jason Terry and Courtney Lee made it a four-point game early in the second quarter.
But Los Angeles quickly scored on its next four possessions to build the lead back up to 12, and Crawford capped an 11-point quarter with a pair of buckets in the final minute for a healthy 60-47 cushion at the break.
Midway through the third, Celtics rookie Jared Sullinger was whistled for a flagrant type 1 for a hard foul on a driving Griffin. The last time these teams met back in March there were five technical fouls called, but on Thursday the Clippers retaliated to Sullinger's physical play on the scoreboard.
The incident occurred during a 9-0 Clippers run that saw Chris Paul hit from long range before finding Butler on a backdoor cut for a comfortable 78-57 advantage.
It was an 82-67 contest heading to the fourth, and the benches were emptied after the hosts opened the frame on an 8-0 run.
"I love the way we're playing right now," said Paul, who shot just 3-of-11 from the field for eight points, but handed out a game-high 11 assists. "It's a good feeling."
Butler chipped in 14 points for the Clippers, who forced 18 turnovers ... The Clippers have a home-and-home set with the Jazz to end the month, starting with a road tilt in Utah on Friday ... Pierce passed Elgin Baylor for 24th place in the NBA's all-time scoring list and is 21 points shy of moving ahead of Adrian Dantley (23,177 points).