The Celtics lost 93-91 at the Clippers.
Selected quotes:"I thought we played slow all night, we pouted all night, we just thought we could show up and win a game -- and we didn't. I just didn't think we played with the type of spirit we played with on this entire trip.- Coach Doc Rivers.
"We looked at their record, and not at their personnel."
The Clippers also had guard Baron Davis back, a player known to play up to the level of his competition...or down, as the case may be.
The Lakers lost 90-79 at the Denver Nuggets.
The Lakers, who brought the NBA's best record (48-10) into town when they checked into their hotel at 4 a.m.,
"That was a garbage game, no doubt about it," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "I wish we could repay the fans some money for that game. Neither team played very well, but they played better than us."
"Tonight, we [played] as active and as intelligent of a defensive game as I think we've played all year long or maybe ever since I've been here," Karl said. "We challenged a lot of shots, it was a tremendously active defensive game."
Mix this "with our offensive skills, we can be great," Karl said. "This is a playoff type of game for us. I'm not sure they played it that way, but it's going to be a good night and a good sunrise."Bryant said this was the perfect storm of a fatigued team facing a fired-up team on little rest with little room for error.
"We've got a totally different team, a totally different mind-set."One he hopes will finally lead to his initial playoff success after five straight first-round flame-outs.
Four nights after suffering a 38-point blowout by Boston at the Pepsi Center, the Nuggets hung tough with the Lakers, leading 66-63 after three quarters before pulling away."We really looked forward to playing another team like this after that Boston massacre," Billups said. "They came into town with the best record, best team in basketball, it was a great opportunity for us."
This last quote is especially important. It shows that after getting embarassed, the Nuggets, a division leader, saw the Lakers as an immediate chance to take on another highpowered team. And they came out popping while the Lakers were flat.
Its a quality team rebounding after a bad loss.