LOS ANGELES — Paul Pierce scored 10 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, Kevin Garnett added 21 points and eight rebounds, and the Boston Celtics made an impressive late run for a 94-85 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.
Ray Allen scored 15 points, and Rajon Rondo had 12 points and 10 assists for the Celtics, who won on the road for just the second time in nine games, but only after blowing a 10-point lead in the final minutes.
Blake Griffin had 24 points and nine rebounds for the Clippers, who have lost four of five while falling behind the Lakers atop the Pacific Division. Chris Paul had 14 points on 3-for-12 shooting in his second game wearing a clear protective mask over his broken nose.
The game featured wild momentum swings and one-sided rallies. The Celtics led 71-61 with eight minutes to play, but the Clippers responded with a 17-3 run, taking the lead on Griffin’s free throws with 4:57 left when Brandon Bass fouled out.
Boston scored the next nine points, capped by Pierce’s 3-pointer with 2:47 left, and finished a 13-2 run with Mickael Pietrus’ layup for a seven-point lead. Los Angeles got to 87-84 on Griffin’s putback dunk with 59 seconds left, but the Celtics hung on to split the first two games of an eight-game trip, their longest of the season.
Mo Williams scored 21 points off the bench as the Clippers lost their second home game in two days — and their fifth in seven — during a stretch in which they’ll play six games at Staples Center in eight days. The Clippers will become the first NBA team to play 20 games in a month since the Cincinnati Royals did it in February 1967.
Paul, whose nose was broken three days ago in San Antonio, combined with Caron Butler and DeAndre Jordan on 9-for-35 shooting for the Clippers, who outrebounded the NBA’s worst rebounding team, 45-31.AROUND THE LEAGUE
■ BULLS EXTEND KNICKS’ SKID – At Chicago, Derrick Rose scored 32 points, and the Bulls beat New York 104-99, handing the Knicks their sixth straight loss. Chicago has won 10 of 11. Jeremy Lin had 15 points and eight assists for New York, but shot just 4-for-11 and had little luck stopping Rose.
■ PARKER POWERS SPURS — At San Antonio, Tony Parker scored 31 points in his return from a one-game injury absence to lead the Spurs to a 112-97 victory over the Washington Wizards. Parker, who missed Friday’s loss to the Clippers with a strained right quadriceps, made 13 of 18 shots.
■ LOVE SPARKS T-WOLVES — At Phoenix, Kevin Love scored 13 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, and Minnesota outlasted the Suns, 127-124. The Timberwolves had lost their last nine games in Phoenix.
■ JENNINGS CARRIES BUCKS — At Newark, N.J., Brandon Jennings had 34 points, seven assists and seven rebounds, and the Milwaukee Bucks won their third straight, 105-99 over the Nets. Kris Humphries had a career-high 31 points and 18 rebounds for New Jersey, which lost its second straight without point guard Deron Williams (strained right calf).