It was a tale of two halves for the Clippers, who have quite the knack for turning a potential blowout win into something far more sinister and and unnerving.
The Clippers went up big rather easily in the first half by creating offensive opportunities because of defensive efforts, which was aided by hot shooting from J.J. Redick and a near-perfect half from Chris Paul. The game had personality and flow for the Clippers early, as they led 57-44 at halftime.
Things got testy late in the second quarter though, when Thaddeus Young pushed J.J. Redick to the ground, eliciting a strong reaction from Deandre Jordan. The play was initially ruled a common foul, but after a long review, Young was issued a Flagrant 1 foul and DJ was handed a technical. Say, don't you hate reading this kind of recap and read of an in-game ruckus like this, and not having immediate access to video of it? Me too, man. I got you.
Good to see the big man jumping to JJ's defense. Proud of you guys!
But, true to form, the Clippers came out flat in the second half, and a lackadaisical effort on defense led to some good looks for Brooklyn, who decided they'd capitalize on the Clips' shortcomings. The second unit played fairly well for the Clippers throughout the game, even in the second half. But the moment the starters returned in the fourth, Brooklyn made their run.
But before we get to that, the second half was not free of a ruckus either, no sir. The travesty of the decade--nay--the century (!) occurred when friendly grandfather figure and current Clipper great Paul Pierce pump faked at the three point line, drove the lane and put up a left-handed dunk over Thaddeus Young--but the GOSH DARN BUCKET WAS CALLED OFF because of an "offensive foul." Well, NBA officials, your call of a foul was offensive. I jest, of course, but c'mon. He's 38.
Papa Pierce finished with 10 points off the bench.
Brooklyn made a push late and cut the lead to two after making eight straight hoops in the waning minutes of the fourth, but Blake Griffin and Chris Paul turned to their bread and butter to right the ship. An aggressive driving slam dunk from Blake opened up the rim for him, as he nailed his next two long jumpers. CP3 hit his signature floater late and sunk two free throws late to seal the deal.
Blake finished with 21 points and nine rebounds and Chris Paul had a stunning 15 points and 14 assists. J.J. Redick had a big game, finishing with 21 points including shooting 4-6 from three. Despite how close this game became, here's this fun fact from Justin Russo, who was live tweeting the game on @ClipsNationSBN: Clippers never trailed after Redick hit a three to give them the lead with 5:38 to go in the 1st quarter. They led the final 41:38.
It wasn't as easy a road to the finish line as it could have been, but the Clippers got another road win and broke a long Brooklyn/New Jersey drought in the process. They'll head to Detroit next and play the Pistons on Monday evening.