What could have been... - Harry How
The Clippers had no trouble extending their winning streak to 15 in a row as they crushed the Boston Celtics by 29 points- the largest defeat that the men in green have taken all season.
The Clippers have now won 15 games in a row following a huge win over the Boston Celtics, and they continue to break records- both franchise and league-wide- on this historic tear through December.
- Game Ball to Barnes: Matt Barnes has to take the game ball tonight, as he led the team in scoring off the bench again. Another double digit scoring effort for Matty Ice and another W for the Clippers. It's a telling trend. Barnes didn't stuff the stat sheet, but he did have 2 assists, and his scoring was efficient, with 7-13 overall shooting that included 5 made threes.
- Stars Rest: Tonight, no Clipper reached the 30 minute mark, and Blake Griffin stayed down at 26. He had 15 points and 8 rebounds in his limited court time. Chris Paul played 29 minutes, and while he only had 8 points on a dismal 3-11 from the field, he contributed with 11 assists, 2 steals, and 3 rebounds to give the Clippers a boost.
- Steals and Turnovers: The Clippers have been among the best in stealing the ball all season. That's directly tied with forcing turnovers, which the Clippers excel at along with not turning the ball over. Tonight was no exception, as the Clippers gave the ball away only 8 times but forced 18 miscues and stole the ball 12 times, including a season high 6 steals for Eric Bledsoe.
- Second Half Defense: The Clippers had a great defensive game overall, allowing only 77 points. More impressive than that was that LAC only allowed 30 points in the second half. Most impressive? Only 10(!) points allowed in the final frame.
- Supporting Cast: Barnes, Griffin, and Paul weren't the only Clippers to impress tonight. Caron Butler had 14 points and made some of his 6 shots at big moments in the third quarter. DeAndre Jordan had 7 points, 7 rebounds, a steal, and a block. While that might not seem so impressive, Jordan was limited by some questionable fouls and only played 18 minutes. Jamal Crawford chipped in with 17 points and 4 assists. Odom had a monster performance with 4 points, 4 blocks, 5 assists, and 11 rebounds.
- Division Dominance: The Clippers are still at #1 in the division, as they have been from the moment the season began. Golden State is a full 4 games back, the Lakers 5 more behind them. It's not close at this point. In Hollinger's playoff odds, the Clippers have a 97.6% chance of winning the Pacific Division title for the first time in their history.
- Conference Outlook: The Clippers were briefly tied for first place after OKC's win against Dallas in OT tonight, but as soon as this game went final the Clippers took back sole possession of first place. In his playoff odds, Hollinger gives the Clippers a 53.3% chance at the #1 seed in the Western Conference.
- STREAK!: The Clippers have now won 15 games in a row. That's the longest in franchise history and the longest in the NBA since the 2009 season when the Boston Celtics won 19 in a row. That's a coincidence, right?
- Get the opponent's perspective at CelticsBlog.
- Next Game: The Clippers play tomorrow night at 6:00 PST in Utah against the Jazz. The Clippers have historically struggled (maybe that's too soft a word?) in Utah, but they did win there earlier this season. The Clippers' rest in this game should give them a little bit of a boost, but there's no time to celebrate, as the next game tips just 19 hours after this one ended. I'll see you on the thread at 5:45.