Last game of the season. Bobi was ready... to box?
And competing in the heavyweight division… pic.twitter.com/aYCRgk0tf3— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) April 12, 2018
The Clippers’ season finale against the Los Angeles Lakers did not go down the way they anticipated Wednesday night. After taking an early lead in the first quarter, the Clippers fell behind, never to lead again. Defense was uninspired, offense was dismal and foul shooting was disastrous.
Here is your recap.
The Clippers started the game with Austin Rivers, Sindarius Thornwell, Wesley Johnson, Tobias Harris and DeAndre Jordan.
The Lakers began with Josh Hart, Julius Randle, Brook Lopez, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso. They would lose Caldwell-Pope to injury just two minutes into the game due to a shoulder sprain. He would not return.
It was a high scoring first frame for both franchises. Some might say the defense resembled an All-Star game (i.e. it wasn’t good). Harris got going early for the Clippers, and finished the quarter with 12 points.
Thornwell added 6, and Johnson 5.
Lopez led the way for the Lakers, with 11 points. Gary Payton II, son of Seattle SuperSonics great Gary Payton, contributed a career high 9 points in the quarter.
At the end of one, Lakers led by seven, 39-32
The Clippers were out-hustled by the Lakers throughout the second quarter. The Lakers shot well, and were able to get easy, uncontested baskets. Without many offensive options for the Clippers, the Lakers were able to extend and hold a double digit lead.
Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell provided a bit of a spark off the bench for the Clippers, contributing 6 points each.
Notably, Austin Rivers shot horribly in the half, going 0-7 from the field. It’s not clear what role his nagging elbow injury played in his underwhelming performance.
At the half, the Clippers trailed the Lakers by 11: 53-64.
Stats at the Half
- First Quarter FG%: 52%
- Second Quarter FG%: 42%
- 3-Pointers: 4-14
- Turnovers: 5
- Points off turnovers: 6
- Fast Break Points: 2
- Rebounds: 20
- Tobias Harris: 14 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist
- Wesley Johnson: 8 points, 2 assists
- Montrezl Harrell: 6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists
- C.J. Williams: 6 points, 1 reb, 1 ast, 1 steal
- Sam Dekker: 6 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal
- First Quarter FG%: 56%
- Second Quarter FG%: 45%
- 3-Pointers: 8-20
- Turnovers: 6
- Points off turnovers: 2
- Fast Break Points: 14
- Rebounds: 24
- Josh Hart: 14 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists
- Gary Payton II: 13 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal
- Brook Lopez: 11 points
Things went from bad to worse for the Clippers in the third quarter. The Lakers were seemingly hitting everything, and extended their lead to 20. Josh Hart was particularly hot. By the end of the third, Hart had racked up 28 points, on 7-9 shooting from behind the 3-point line. Hart was one of four Lakers in double figures after 36 minutes of play.
By contrast, Harris was the only Clipper in double figures after three frames with 23 points. The Clippers offense was simply not happening. Rivers’ offense was sorely missed. His poor performance in the first half carried over to the third quarter. By the end of three Rivers was 0-9 from the field and 1-2 from the line. He would not return to the floor in the final quarter.
At the end of three the Lakers enjoyed an 18-point lead: 92-74.
Doc started the final frame with a high energy crew including Boban Marjanovic, Dekker, Tyrone Wallace, Thornwell and Harrell. They made an admirable push, but never got closer to the Lakers than 10. Marjanovic (12), Dekker (10), Thornwell (12) and Harrell (15) would all finish the game in double figures, along with Harris (23).
I will say it was fun to see Dekker get teed up after a little scuffle with Laker’s center Thomas Bryant. Say what you will about Dekker, I’ve enjoyed watching him play this season. He’s not the most skilled player on the floor, but is relatively agile and gives 100% at all times. Love his effort.
Not quite sure why Doc waited until the last minute of the third quarter to put Boban in the game, because once in he was quite unstoppable. Boban finished the game with a double-double, scoring 12 points (10 in the fourth quarter) and grabbing 10 rebounds in under 13 minutes of play.
Final game stats for the Clippers:
Final— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) April 12, 2018
The Lakers were led by Hart (30 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal); Payton (25 points, 12 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist); Lopez (14 points); and Caruso (15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists).
Not really much more to say. This was a disappointing loss to end the season, particularly because it gives obnoxious Laker fans something to boast about for the next few months.
The Clippers finish the 2017-18 season with a 42-40 record.
- It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... before Wednesday’s game Doc reflected on this year’s Clipper squad with long-time Clipper announcer Ralph Lawler.
- DeAndre’s last game as a Clipper? DeAndre Jordan has not been able to reach a deal with the Clippers over the last few months and many speculate that he will test free agency this summer. Jordan has quietly accomplished many things this season, including breaking Randy Smith’s records for the most games played by a Clipper (750) and most seasons played with the franchise (10); and achieving a 5th consecutive season with 1,000+ rebounds. Unfortunately Jordan was unable to get a double-double against the Lakers, so fell one game short of tying Elton Brand’s franchise record (265). An under-rated big man.
- I’ve frequently sung the praises of Montrezl Harrell, and won’t stop now. Harrell had an absolutely FANTASTIC season, with 43 double-digit scoring games. His energetic contributions to the Clippers were largely unexpected and highly appreciated.
- The 2018 NBA draft is just around the corner! The draft will be held on June 21, 2018 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It currently looks like the Clippers will have the 12th and 13th overall picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. The offseason, free agency and draft are things to look forward as a Clipper fan. The rebuild is on! #TrustTheLogo
- Clippers in the BIG3 League! Keep visiting ClipsNation during the summer for coverage of the second season of Ice Cube’s BIG3 League. The eight-team 3-on-3 basketball league will begin a new season on June 22. The BIG3 draft will be held on Thursday, April 12 at 5 p.m. PT. It will be televised live on FS1, and viewers can live-stream it at Fox Sports Go. A number of former Clippers will be suiting up this season, including everyone’s favorite (admit it) ... Glen “Big Baby” Davis.
FINALLY - Thank you for the support, opinions and good times this season! The best is yet to come!