Former Celtics coach emotional in post-game press conference.
With nine games on a busy NBA schedule on Wednesday night, it was left to the Los Angeles Clippers and Doc Rivers to secure a win on his return to Boston.
The coach led the Celtics to an NBA title in 2008, and prior to the game he had admitted that he expected a few boos after deciding to leave the franchise in the summer.
However, he was given a positive ovation after entering the TD Garden, and was visibly emotional during his post-game press conference.
“It was just a really nice day,” Rivers said, choking back tears, as reported by ESPN.
“This is, it’s just such a classy place here. … They cheer for their teams and they love their athletes. The best decision I ever made was 10 years ago, when I decided to come.”
The Clippers sealed a 96-88 win with Jamal Crawford scoring 21 points after hitting a pair of 3-pointers in the final three minutes to help the visitors pull away.
In addition, Chris Paul had 22 points, nine assists and seven rebounds and Blake Griffin added 18 points, while Jeff Green had a team-high 29 points for the Celtics who fell to their second defeat in a row.
After controlling his emotions well during the game, the reunion continues this week as Rivers will face former Celtics players Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett on Thursday when they take on the Brooklyn Nets.
Elsewhere, the New York Knicks blew a 23-point lead against the Chicago Bulls before recovering to secure a 83-78 win over the Chicago Bulls.
Carmelo Anthony had a game-high 30 points and insisted that it was vital the Knicks were able to hold on for the win as it would have been a huge blow to their confidence.
Nevertheless, they did hold on and coach Mike Woodson will now hope to string some wins together and climb the Eastern Conference.
Meanwhile, there was late drama at the Oracle Arena as Stephen Curry made a pull-up jumper with 3 seconds remaining to rally the Golden State Warriors from 18 points down to beat the Dallas Mavericks.
The Warriors point guard had 33 points and helped his team move to 13-10 for the season, level with the Mavs in the Western Conference but back into the playoff spots.
The Oklahoma City Thunder moved closer to top spot in the West with a win over the Memphis Grizzlies, as Russell Westbrook stepped up with 27 points and 9 assists, but they still remain in third place as the SAn Antonio Spurs sealed a comfortable win over the Bucks.
Orlando Magic 92-83 Charlotte Bobcats
Los Angeles Clippers 96-88 Boston Celtics
Oklahoma City Thunder 116-100 Memphis Grizzlies
San Antonio Spurs 109-77 Milwaukee Bucks
Philadelphia 76ers 99-106 Minnesota Timberwolves
Detroit Pistons 106-111 New Orleans Pelicans
Chicago Bulls 78-83 New York Knicks
Utah Jazz 122-101 Sacramento Kings
Dallas Mavericks 93-95 Golden State Warriors