The outcome was never in question for Los Angeles tonight as the Clippers handily defeated the Blazers by a score of 111-80.
A great first quarter was followed up with a great second for the Clippers, followed by a great third. They were outscored in the fourth, but it looked more like a pickup game than an actual NBA showdown by that point, with the bench units in the game to tick minutes off the clock for the entire quarter.
The defensive effort was particularly spectacular for Los Angeles. They held their opponent to 31-of-88 (35.2%) shooting and forced 14 turnovers. The Clippers also won on the glass, pulling in 78.9% of their defensive rebound opportunities, compared to 72% for the Trail Blazers.
Blake Griffin looked particularly dominant, seeming to score at will while crashing the boards and making nice passes, particularly at the point in the game where Portland could have still conceivably made a comeback. He finished with 22 points on 7-of-14 shooting (also going 8-of-10 from the free throw line), 13 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and a block. He did this in only 26 minutes on the court.
Chris Paul had a similarly prolific output in limited playing time, scoring 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting (including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc) in just 23 minutes. He finished with 7 assists and 1 steal while turning the ball over only once.
DeAndre Jordan finished with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 24 minutes.
Damian Lillard had his worst game of the season for Portland, scoring only 8 points on 1-of-10 shooting. He was 0-of-4 from beyond the arc and finished with 3 turnovers with only 1 assist. C.J. McCollum didn’t fare much better, scoring 8 points on 4-of-11 shooting with 4 rebounds.
The Clippers next game will be on Friday in Oklahoma City. They will tip off against the Thunder at 5:00 PM PST.
Thoughts, Blurbs, Ideas, et Cetera
–So make that 2-0 against the Blazers this year.
–The first half went about as well as it could have for the Clippers. I could say more, but I’ll let the numbers speak on my behalf.
–The Clippers came into the game with the best defensive rating in the league by a wide margin and actually improved that number against Portland (the Blazers came into the game with the tenth-best offensive rating). The only Portland player to score in double digits was Shabazz Napier, who only reached that mark thanks to garbage time court-frolicking.
–Luc Mbah a Moute’s defense played a big role in stifling Lillard. Mbah a Moute has been tasked with manning up on the opposing team’s best this year, and he’s held up to those tests so far. He doesn’t fit the description of “super exciting and outlandish talent” that the other four starters have, but he is a great fit with them (if he could improve his consistency from 3-point land, he’d be a perfect match). He deserves credit for his part in how well the defense has played so far this year.
–LA’s shot selection was excellent. Swoon at these dreamy shot charts with me.
I’m fanning myself.
I have a feeling this image will visit me in my dreams tonight.
Macy Gray is the only one that truly understands how I feel about these shot charts.