Clippers will be tested during grueling March schedule

Clippers forward Blake Griffin, left, and Celtics forward Amir Johnson reach for a loose ball during the first half on Monday.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

The Clippers are in the midst of a hellish schedule during the month of March.

And it will be a challenge that will test their will.

They just played two games in the Midwest, at Milwaukee on Friday and at Chicago on Saturday.

The Clippers returned home in the wee hours of Sunday morning and played the Boston Celtics on Monday night at Staples Center.

The Clippers will leave Tuesday for a game at Minnesota on Wednesday and at Memphis on Thursday.

The Clippers likely will get back to L.A. in the early-morning hours Friday and then host Philadelphia on Saturday.


Then it’s back on the road again for the Clippers, a quick one-game trip at Utah on Monday.

“I would have loved to have just gone straight to Minnesota from Chicago. That would have made a lot of sense,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. “It’s strange. Like you come home and you unpack and you play the game [Monday night] and you get back on and you play two more [on the road] and you unpack and you go back on the road [on Sunday] and you play another. I’ve honestly never had a schedule like this.”

Rivers said they saw the schedule over the summer and knew this month would be grueling.

“Where we have to be really careful with is the rest part,” Rivers said. “I’m not sure how we’re going to do it, but we have to find rest for these guys.”

Less emotion for Pierce

Paul Pierce swore he wasn’t going to get emotional this time during the game between the Clippers and Celtics at Staples Center as he did during the Feb. 5 game at the TD Garden.

It was the last time Pierce suited up against the Celtics in his 19-year NBA career.

Paul played 15 years for the Celtics, winning an NBA championship in 2008.

The Clippers honored Pierce in the first quarter, showing clips of his career on the big screen, finishing with “Congratulations ‘The Truth’ Paul Pierce.”

“It won’t be as emotional for me because of the simple fact it won’t be in the Garden, the place where I was able to play a lot part of my career and do some really special things there,” Pierce, who’s retiring at the end of the season, said. “It’s just pretty much a different feel today than it was being in Boston.”

Twitter: @BA_Turner