clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Clippers hang on to beat Hornets in OT, 124-121

New, comments

Led by the Core Four and literally nobody else, the Clips snapped a two-game losing skid Sunday night.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Los Angeles Clippers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Led by stellar overall performances from each of the Core Four, the Los Angeles Clippers squeaked by the Charlotte Hornets 124-121 in overtime Sunday night at Staples Center.

Blake Griffin dominated to the tune of a season-high 43 points along with nine rebounds and five assists, while Chris Paul nearly triple-doubled with 15 points, 17 assists and nine boards. The Clips also got a huge boost from JJ Redick, who broke out of his shooting slump to finish with 22 points on 9/16 shooting from the floor. DeAndre Jordan racked up 20 points and 19 boards and also picked up what proved to be the game-winning steal in the final seconds of the OT period.

LAC’s bench was essentially non-existent in this one. LAC reserves combined for just 17 points on 5/21 shooting and were generally lackluster throughout. Jeremy Lamb had a big game for Charlotte off the bench, finishing with 19 points on 5/10 shooting.

The Hornets’ were led by a combined 65 points from the backcourt of Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum. The two combined to drill 14 of their 23 attempts from long range, and the Clips really had no answer for either of them all night long.

The Clippers snapped a two-game mini losing skid heading into Wednesday’s huge home tilt against the Houston Rockets. Charlotte, meanwhile, lost for the 18th time in their last 24 contests. The Clips wound up sweeping the season series from the Hornets 2-0.

The back-and-forth affair included 16 lead changes, though at one point early in the third the Clips did hold a healthy 17-point advantage.

The Clippers came out with a purpose offensively in this one, and they made it a point to find JJ Redick as often as possible. Redick had been shooting a hair under 35 percent from the floor through February’s first nine games, but drilled each of his first four attempts in this one as LAC built an early 19-8 advantage.

Switches were also crisp for L.A. as Kemba Walker was finding it tough to knife into the paint. He did knock down four of his first five looks, but his teammates combined to shoot just 2-9 through the first half of the first period.

Charlotte began to pick things up a bit offensively as the quarter went along, but the home team ended the frame shooting nearly 61 percent from the floor. A driving layup from Jamal Crawford just ahead of the death of the clock put L.A. up 32-24 after one.

Chris Paul was stuffing the stat sheet over the first 12 minutes, as he notched three points, seven assists and five boards. Per Clipper PR, it was the first time in Paul’s career that he had racked up at least seven assists and five rebounds in a single quarter.

Doc Rivers started the second with an all-bench unit and the results weren’t pretty. The Hornets ripped off a 13-0 run to open the second. LAC was settling for long, contested threes that weren’t falling. The dry spell forced Rivers to come back with Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Paul after about four minutes to try and resurrect the dying offense.

Almost instantly, order was restored. A three-point play by Griffin sparked by a beautiful feed from CP3 see-sawed the Clippers back in front by three. Paul subsequently found Redick from beyond the arc and Jordan right at the cup for his 10th and 11th assists of the night with still four minutes to play in the first half. Looks like he’s still good at the basketball, everyone.

Redick capped the half with another pair of triples and an emphatic stickback flush at the buzzer by D.J. put the Clips up 59-51 at the break. Redick finished the first 24 minutes with a game-best 19 points in 8/10 shooting from the floor.

Griffin’s second three of the night followed by another bucket from BG under the rim extended LAC’s lead to a game-high 15 and prompted a timeout from Steve Clifford under two minutes into the third. An ensuing steal and breakaway slam by Jordan capped a 17-0 Clips run spanning two quarters in less than four minutes of actual game time.

It didn’t take long at all for Charlotte to climb right back into the game. The Hornets slapped back with a quick 13-0 run of their own to close the deficit to only four just ahead of the halfway point. Walker and Nicolas Batum combined for three threes during that stretch as the Hornets really started to whip the ball around on offense.

Yet another three - this one by Marvin Williams - knotted things at 69. Griffin then brought the entire arena to its feet with this hammersmash to give him 20 points on the night:

Austin Rivers checked into the scoring column for the first time late in the frame with a three-point play as the teams began to trade buckets. At the end of three, the Clips led 84-80.

The all-bench unit once again was finding goings tough offensively, which got Griffin back into the game with nine to play. Charlotte decided to attack the height discrepancy between Batum and Austin Rivers and five straight from the Frenchman gave the road team a one-point lead at 90-89.

Despite a height disadvantage of his own, Griffin showed no hesitation in going right at Frank Kaminsky on the other end. CP3 and DJ returned a few minutes later with the game very much still in the balance at 93-all.

Batum drilled yet another triple - his sixth of the night - to give him a team-high 25 points and prompt a Clipper timeout. The six threes are the most Batum has made in any game all year long. A few minutes after putting Lawler’s Law into action, Griffin drove to the rim again and drew a foul on Kaminsky, good for Frank the Tank’s sixth infraction.

Charlotte was already incredibly thin at center with both Cody Zeller and Miles Plumlee sidelined, and Kaminsky’s departure meant the Hornets would be rolling small with Marv Williams at the five for the rest of this one.

Griffin had the chance to give the Clips a bit of breathing room but converted just one of his four ensuing free throws to give the Hornets some life support. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was then whistled for his sixth after walling off CP3’s path, which forced Clifford to roll the dice on Christian Wood. Paul faltered a bit, though, hitting just one of two to put the Clips up two.

The game really started to lose rhythm with fouls being called on seemingly every possession down-the-stretch. Then, of course, Charlotte decided to give the Hack-a-DJ the ol’ college try. Jordan quickly put an end to that by hitting one of his foul shots before following a CP miss with a putback jam to restore the Clips’ three-point lead. Wood then responded with a tip jam of his own before the hacking resumed.

Batum propelled Charlotte back in front with three-ball No. 7 before Griffin’s third (!!!) triple put the score back in the Clippers’ favor. Griffin subsequently was hacked on a layup and converted the foul shot to put L.A. up five with 48 seconds to play.

Walker then hit his sixth three of the game before hitting a pair of free throws on the next trip to knot things back up at 113 with 12 seconds left. Chris Paul had a look on the other end, but came up just short. Overtime!

Batum canned his eighth long ball of the night to put Charlotte up one, but Griffin replied with a three-point play of his own to put L.A. up two. The points were his 40th and 41st of the night, giving him (and the Clippers as a whole) a new season-high.

Jordan rejected Walker on the other end, which sprung Paul on the break. CP3 canned a jumper from the top to make it a two-possession ballgame with a minute left in the extra session. The Hornets mounted a mini-surge, but Jordan stole the ball and put back a CP3 miss to effectively ice the game with two seconds to go.