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Tatum stars, 4-man Pine Platoon vital, in Celtics 119-115 nail-biter over Clippers

The Celtics had to come from behind in this one, and it came right down to the wire, but they prevailed over the Los Angeles Clippers, 119-115. Jayson Tatum was the star of the game with Jaylen Brown out of action, scoring a team-high 34 points and taking down seven rebounds.


Kemba Walker had a solid outing with 24 points, but it was Boston's ever-evolving Pine Platoon that proved so vital in the victory. Grant Williams, normally one of the first guys off the bench, started in place of Brown - logged 32 minutes - collecting 11 points, four boards and two assists. 

As Carson Edwards' hair continues to grow, so does his game. He played a key role in the win, contributing 16 points and four rebounds in 30 minutes of floor time. He was 5-of-8 from the field, 3-of-8 from 3-point land and a perfect 3-of-3 on foul shots. There was no tentativeness in his play. He was decisive, and it worked.

Rob Williams was only active for 15 minutes, but he made it count - scoring 10 points on 5-of-8 from the field, including a few short jumpers. The mystery remains why Brad Stevens doesn't keep him on the floor longer.

Rookie Payton Pritchard was back from a knee injury, contributing eight points, two rebounds and two assists. He showed no signs of discomfort from the injury.

Brad Stevens continues to experiment with his Pine Platoon, often out of necessity - but sometimes to determine which players can be relied on in tight situations. There was a bit of both in this victory, with Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart out of the picture. 

The surprise here was Stevens going with Edwards in the closing minutes of the game, but it paid dividends. In the final three minutes of the fourth quarter, Carsen was fouled on a 3-point attempt, making all three of his foul shots - and later taking down his fourth defensive rebound. All four soldiers in Boston's Pine Platoon had vital roles in this narrow win.

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