In the modern NBA game, the offensive side of the floor gets the attention. Shot clock violations don’t exactly pay the bills the way lobs and contested 30-footers do. Even in a league so laser-focused on the offensive end, there is still elite clutch defense to be found on a nightly basis.
On Friday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Celtics erased an 11-point halftime deficit with eight made threes in the third quarter. Yes, very 2021 NBA of them. While the shooting barrage led to a third quarter where Boston outscored the Clippers 38-20, it was fourth-quarter defense on Kawhi Leonard that sealed the 119-115 Celtics win.
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