BOSTON (CBS) -- The Celtics have had some really bad nights this season. Wednesday night's loss against the Clippers was nearly historically bad.
It's not just that the Celtics lost to a severely undermanned Clippers team, a team they still should have beaten without the services of Jayson Tatum (COVID-19) and Marcus Smart (his biennial hand laceration injury). It's that the Celtics were absolutely dreadful from beyond the arc, leading to a 91-82 defeat on their home floor.
The Clippers B-Team played a heavy zone defense throughout Wednesday night's contest, and nothing busts a zone like hitting a few from deep. But the Celtics were never able to hit from deep, going an appalling 4-for-42 from three-point range. That is a paltry 9.5 percent from deep.
Boston's ball movement was actually pretty good throughout Wednesday night's contest, leading to a number of open looks from downtown. That made their brick-laying ways all the more frustrating, because it didn't matter how open Boston shooters were. They were not hitting anything from downtown, aside from the front of the rim.
Jaylen Brown had 30 points to lead the C's, but he was just 1-for-13 from three. Al Horford missed all seven of his attempts, and Payton Pritchard missed all five of his. Boston starters were just 1-for-28.
Grant Williams was the only Celtics player to finish with a respectable showing from deep, going 2-for-3. (His 46.6 percent from three-point land for the season is tied for the second-best in the NBA.)
Something contagious floating around the air is a bit of a touchy subject these days, but Brown was asked after the game if missed shots are contagious.
"[Shoot], I guess so," Brown replied.
That was apparent late in the game, when Boston somehow found itself down by just six points with under a minute left. Know what the Celtics really needed at that point? A three.
Know what the Celtics missed over and over and over again at that point? Threes.
Coming out of a timeout trailing 88-82 with 50.4 seconds left, Brown missed a 27-footer. Robert Williams pulled down the offensive board and dished it to an open Josh Richardson, who missed his open three-point look -- his eighth miss from downtown of the night. Brown got the miss under the basket, but missed the put-back. The Clippers hit their freebies, and handed the Celtics another embarrassing loss.
Nearly half of Boston's missed threes came in the fourth quarter, when they went just 1-for-18 from downtown. At that point, the team just felt like heaving, hoping the law of averages would work itself out. Instead, they missed their last 15 shots from deep.
"I guess we're due for a lot of makes," Brown joked after the loss.
But Wednesday night's numbers are no joke. The Celtics narrowly missed being on the wrong side of NBA history, thanks to last year's Houston Rockets team that hit just four of their 45 threes during a 133-84 loss to Memphis. That is the only NBA team to shoot worse from three than Wednesday night's Celtics in NBA history.
The Celtics have now lost three straight to drop to 16-19 on the season, and they now sit in a virtual tie with the Hawks and Raptors for the 10-seed in the Eastern Conference. After blowing two straight second-half leads leading into Wednesday's game, Boston's response against the Clippers was flat-out embarrassing.
"I think it's unfortunate timing because we wanted to respond from last game. A lot of those guys came out ready to fight, and we just came up short," a flustered Brown said. "We came up [flipping] short."
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