After a heartbreaking overtime loss against the Nuggets, the Clippers had another matchup against a top big man in Philadelphia to look forward to. With the impressive performances from Ivica Zubac and Reggie Jackson having been overshadowed by the final result of that game, a win against the 76ers would act to rectify the defeat in Denver. Despite being down by 24 in the second half, the Clippers successfully came back and beat their opponents on the road, 102-101.
At the start of the game, the Clippers came out with a burst of energy that seemed to have been inspired by the close loss they suffered just two days before. They grabbed more than double the number of rebounds as the 76ers did in the first quarter, and had it not been for five turnovers, they likely would have held a double digit lead going into the second. It took a little under seven minutes for the Sixers to fight back and take the lead, which they did on a Joel Embiid three-pointer. As the Clippers struggled to hit shots in the face of an intimidating defense, the 76ers extended their lead to 14 at halftime — a 27-point turnaround since the scoreboard read 24-11 in favor of the LA in the first quarter.
In the second half, the 76ers threatened to end the game early as they continued to add more to their lead, but the Clippers did not fold. Even with Nicolas Batum as one of Embiid’s primary defenders, they managed to cut the deficit to just 10 as the quarter came to a close. Isaiah Hartenstein was instrumental for his team that quarter, helping to make an impact in the interior on both offense and defense.
Back within 10 #ClipperNation | @LAClippers pic.twitter.com/FZGTg57vPy— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) January 22, 2022
Two quick jumpers from distance by Luke Kennard cut the 76ers lead to just four, which set the stage for a competitive ending to a hard-fought game on both sides. That’s exactly where the game went, as the Clippers grabbed the lead for the first time since the second quarter with a tough finish from Zubac over Embiid. Despite a last second scare, they ultimately came out with the win, a satisfying way to make up for their most recent loss in Denver.
Credit must be given to the Clippers’ creative team defense, which effectively contained the shooters on the perimeter while also making Embiid work hard on every possession. Now, the Clippers will continue their road trip and head to New York to face the Knicks, another team hungry for wins.