I re-watched one of my favorite movies over the holiday weekend... The In-Laws. Not the crappy re-make with Albert Brooks and Michael Douglas - the brilliant original, with Peter Falk and Alan Arkin.
As they're on their way to meet the crazy Central American dictator, Falk, the CIA agent says to Arkin, the dentist "Just go with the flow, Shelly." To which Arkin replies, "What flow? There is no flow."
This game had no flow. Speaking of the dentist, it was a little like a visit there. When the high scorer in the game is Ron Artest, it's simply never going to be a work of art. As talented as he is, Ron Ron is NOT a pretty player. He plays a little like a linebacker. And is it just me, or could you call traveling on this guy pretty much every time he touches the ball? Everything is herky-jerky and sheer brute force.
Whether it was related to the complete absence of flow or not, the Clippers had a simply horrendous shooting night. Entering the fourth quarter, they had made 26 of 73 field goal attempts, an absolutely frigid 35.6%, and yet they trailed by only 3. Surely, one thought, some of these shots will start to fall, and if so, the Clippers could actually win this game. Indeed, when they made 3 of their first 5 in the period, an and-one for Davis followed by a couple of 3 balls from Cat, the score was tied with 8:49 to go. The Clippers made one shot the rest of the game. 1 for 20. I shit you not. 1 for 20. They ended the quarter 4 for 25. 16%. They ended the game 30 for 98. They missed 68 shots. SIXTY-EIGHT.
Now, I'm sure over at Sactown Royalty they're applauding the tremendous defensive effort by the Kings. Not really, no. The Clippers got great looks all night. You may think this is hyperbole, but I thought the offensive execution was as good as it's been all year. They just flat missed shots. In many cases, missed everything. There were at least 4 wide open jumpers where they did not hit the rim. Didn't really come close.
Oh, and as for that fourth quarter? The Clippers scored 13 points total. Mobley scored 6 in about 30 seconds. Tim Thomas scored 4. Paul Davis scored 3. That's it. Elton Brand - 0. Corey Maggette - 0. Shaun Livingston - 0.
Prior to the fourth, Livingston had easily his best game of the season, scoring a career-high 20 through 3 quarters. And Elton Brand had a great game on the boards. And that, my friends concludes the Clippers highlight reel. Hope you didn't blink. Livingston was 10 for 16 on the game. Take him away, and the rest of the Clippers drop to 20 for 82 - less than 25%.
Not much more to say about this game. I'm tempted to write it off as one of those days. Sometimes your shots don't fall. It is however disturbing that the Clippers have played SOOOO poorly in the final quarter lately. The Denver game was probably out of reach, but two of the three games on this trip were winnable with a decent showing in the fourth. Instead, the team completely disappeared.
Oh, and did I mention that the team is below .500 for the first time in two seasons?