CLIPPERS BOUNCE BACK WITH SUMMER LEAGUE WIN OVER SPURS
For one night, at least, Eric Bledsoe and Adam Morrison made quite a tandem.
The athletic Clippers’ point guard and his shaggy-haired teammate combined to lead L.A. past the San Antonio Spurs, 86-80, Wednesday at Cox Pavilion in Game 2 of the Clippers’ five-game stretch in the Las Vegas Summer League.
Forward Trey Thompkins missed the game with a strained left Achilles and bruised left knee. He is questionable for the remainder of Summer League.
“I thought we played well tonight,” Head Coach Robert Pack said. “Adam had it going and we kept feeding him the ball. Eric played hard tonight and got everyone involved with seven assists. I liked our whole team effort.”
Bledsoe’s dynamism at the rim and in the open court was on display for most of the night as he scored 18 points with seven assists, six rebounds, and five turnovers. He made plays for others, including capping an 8-0 first-half run with a whirling pass to Terrico White for a three-pointer, and drew contact on several layup attempts to earn eight free throw attempts, making six.
"Getting a chance to play out here has been great,” Bledsoe said. “I'm just trying to do the best I can and get everyone involved in the offense."
While Bledsoe served as the primary ball-handler and one-man trap buster for the Clippers (1-1), Morrison’s job was simply to shoot it.
The former collegiate All-American at Gonzaga found a rhythm early and took over the game in the third quarter, scoring 14 of his game-high 23 points. Morrison was 9-of-13 from the field and 2-for-3 from beyond the three-point line. He made step-back jumpers, fadeaways, and layups, and it was his final basket, a long three from the right wing, late in the third quarter that gave the Clippers a 69-53 lead.
“Tonight I got it going a little bit,” Morrison said. “I felt like I had a good rhythm. They were running plays for me and I was able to put the ball in the basket."
Still, the Spurs battled back, holding the Clippers to 10 points over a 10-minute stretch in the fourth. Clippers center Hilton Armstrong stymied the rally with a two-handed dunk.
After the Spurs missed on their ensuing possession, Bledsoe pushed the ball down the center of the floor, weaved around Luke Zeller, and hit a difficult left-handed layup and drew a foul. He made the free throw, helping L.A. regain control. Forward Marcus Hubbard iced the game a few plays later with a baseline dunk off a pass from Armstrong, who finished with nine points, three rebounds, four blocked shots, and one assist.
Without Thompkins and guard Travis Leslie (calf), Pack used a starting lineup of Bledsoe, Antoine Wright, Morrison, Hubbard, and Armstrong. White scored 11 points off the bench, a game after leading the team with 16 in Monday’s loss to the Timberwolves.
NOTES: The Clippers shot 55.9% from the field in the first half with Bledsoe, Morrison, White, Hubbard, and Armstrong scoring at least six points… They made 19 of their 31 free throw attempts. By comparison, the Spurs were 10-of-12… Bledsoe’s first three shots were from the perimeter, including a made 20-footer and two missed three-pointers… Spurs guard Cory Joseph led San Antonio with 22 points… White may have had the highlight of the night, flying in for a right-handed slam on a fast break in the second quarter.