GAMEDAY REPORT: CLIPPERS VS. LAKERS - 3/6/14
Game #63 | March 6, 2014
Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA
LOS ANGELES – All it took was the second quarter.
The Clippers, who at one point trailed by seven in the opening minutes, outscored the host Lakers by 31 in the second, setting up an historic, 142-94, victory Thursday night at Staples Center.
Blake Griffin scored 20 points with 11 rebounds and seven assists. Matt Barnes continued his streak of hot shooting, scoring 17 points going 7-for-13 from the field with 12 rebounds, five assists and three steals. And six other Clippers scored in double figures en route to the 48-point victory.
It was the largest margin of victory in franchise history, marking the third time this season the Clippers (43-20) have topped the mark and doubled as the worst loss in Lakers history, surpassing a 46-point defeat at Portland in 1995. They have defeated the Lakers (21-41) by a combined 84 points since losing in the season opener.
“It’s obviously a little different with us being in the same town, but our goals are a lot bigger than just beating them,” Griffin said. “Still, after the past two games I think we have a pretty bad taste in our mouth after the first game and that’s not going away for a while.”
The Clippers, who have won a season-high six games in a row, started washing away that taste in the second quarter Thursday.
They scored 29 of the first 33 points of the second, held the Lakers to just five field goals, forced five turnovers, which led to 10 points, out-rebounded the Lakers by 17, outscored them 19-0 in transition, and had nine different players make a basket, including Darren Collison who had 14 of his game-high 24 points in 10:17.
A group made up of DeAndre Jordan, who had 14 points and 12 rebounds, Collison and three reserves, sparked a 21-1 run. Danny Granger had six points in the stretch, his first since joining the Clippers a week ago.
“It’s funny we had a 15-point lead and they called a timeout and me and Blake were at the scorer’s table and we actually asked Doc if [the second unit] could stay in because they were playing so well,” said Chris Paul, who had 13 points, 11 assists and four steals and was one of four Clippers who registered a double-double. “We fed off that.”
And they never let up.
It was not so much as putting their so-called hallway rivals in a hole, they shoveled dirt over it and patted it down. The Clippers led 73-40 at halftime, the 33-point margin marking the second widest margin at the half in franchise history. They were dominant, relentless and it continued in the second half when they scored six points in 53 seconds and it became abundantly clear the rout was on.
Jordan had a breakaway dunk off a steal by Paul, wagging his tongue as flew towards the rim and Griffin’s final points of the night came on a 3-on-1 fast-break where Paul had Jordan to his right and Griffin to his left. He lobbed the ball over his shoulder to Griffin, who threw down one of his most violent dunks of the season.
Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni called timeout and Griffin, Paul and Jordan made their way back to the bench on the opposite end of the court. There was 3:09 left in the third quarter. The trio did not return to the game.
“We made it a point to not overlook anybody,” Barnes said. “I think we’re doing a better job of that. I think early in the season we would let [a lead] go and you’d have to fight to get it back. Tonight, we kept our foot on their neck the entire night and got our second unit some good work in the fourth quarter.”
The Clippers have defeated the Lakers six of the last seven outings…The Clippers played without Jamal Crawford (calf), Jared Dudley (back) and J.J. Redick (back)… The Lakers did not have Kobe Bryant (knee), Steve Nash (back), Nick Young (knee) or Jordan Hill (knee)… Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 21 points and seven rebounds… The Lakers shot 39.5 percent from the field compared to the Clippers 55.3 percent on 103 shots, the most they have taken in a game this season… The Clippers owned a 64-33 rebounding edge, The 64 boards were the most rebounds they have had in a game since 2001… Reggie Bullock matched his career high with 11 points. He was one of three Clippers to make at least three 3-pointers… All 11 players available made at least two field goals… The 142 points were the most by the Clippers since 1998….
Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers
(On taking control of the game in the second quarter)
“It really was that in the first quarter I thought we were trying to do too much offensively. I think we had 10 turnovers, or eight in the first quarter. They got out on the break, and that’s how they wanted to play. We just really felt like if we could not turn the ball over and take them out of fast breaks, then it would be on our defense. I think it’s three or four or five games in a row now at some point our defense has kind of clicked on. That was the difference really. Then, once we get out running we’re pretty good.”
(On if he’s ever been a part of such a lopsided game)
“Honestly, I don’t know if I have or not. Listen, I want to win the game, and you want to win big against everybody, but it wasn’t like we ran it up or anything like that. Like I said, I was on that other side before. Whenever that happens, I think we had a game earlier in the year against Philly (Philadelphia 76ers). As a coach, my first thought goes to the other side. That’s tough, it’s no fun.”
(On if the team plays with a different energy against the Lakers)
“I’m sure they do. They’re in the same town and whenever you’re in the same town you see each other all the time; probably in the summer when you play against each other. Clearly you like the bragging rights and all that stuff. That’s good though, that’s a good competition and I think it’s healthy, and I think it’s good.”
(On getting to see Glen Davis and Danny Granger play extended minutes)
“They both looked good. ‘Baby’s’ (Glen Davis) lungs exploded I think at some point, so we had to take him out. Danny you could just tell, his rhythm, even though he played really well in the first half. It’s going to be a rhythm thing for him; it’s going to take a while. I’m going to be very patient with Danny; I just think it’s going to take a while for him to really get going. You could see some of the things he could do for us. I don’t think you take two years off and then play sparingly and then walk in early and play well. Our own goal for him is if we can get him right for playoffs, then we’ll be very happy.”
(On what Darren Collison has meant this season)
“He’s been invaluable. I mean, without him, we wouldn’t be here with our record; I guarantee that. He’s started at the point and been the back-up point. He’s started at the two now, he’s just doing everything for us. His defense I thought again tonight. It’s funny, he won’t get any credit,
(On what Darren Collison has meant this season) continued…
but I thought it was his defense in that stretch in the second quarter that turned the game around because of his pressure and it took them out of their ‘stuff’. He got no steals for it, and it won’t show up in the stat sheet, but it was clearly him. And, our other guys recognize that, so that was good. ”
Clippers guard Chris Paul
(On if there was any added significance to tonight’s win against the Lakers)
“It’s another win. We don’t get to subtract a loss from our loss column. I think this game was more about us and that’s what we’re trying to do right now. Every game it’s about us and what we do.”
(On the talk around Los Angeles shifting from Lakers to Clippers)
“It is what it is. Since day one it’s always going to be something to talk about since we both play here in this building. During the game all the fans were yelling, ‘It’s still a Lakers town,’ and it is, it’s no secret. For us we just have to worry about us and keep playing.”
(On if there’s a challenge to keep playing so well as the season goes on)
“It’s not a challenge when you’re playing with a purpose. In huddles and in the locker room it’s ‘Don’t play the score’, it’s about us. We’re trying to build for something. Whatever group is on the floor we have to be us that way it becomes second nature. It’s just like anybody doing anything.”
(On why the team was so successful tonight)
“It was our defense. That second unit, when they came in in the second quarter, it’s funny, we had a 15 point lead and they called a timeout and Blake [Griffin] and I were at the scorer’s table and Blake and I actually asked Doc [Rivers], ‘Could they stay in?’ because they were doing so well. We fed off that. We fed off that energy and to start the second half we just kept the defensive pressure on them.”
Clippers forward Blake Griffin
(On tonight’s big win)
“It’s an opportunity for us to get in a groove and get to know each other a little better. We still got new guys and we’ve still got guys injured, so we treat every game the same and we want to win every game and we’re not going to let up.”
(On if the starters were rooting for a 50 point victory at the end of the game)
“No, we just don’t want to give up easy baskets no matter what time of the game it is. How much we’re up, how much we’re down, whatever it is, no easy baskets is our whole thing. It’s not about how much we’re up by, it’s about how we execute.”
(On falling behind to start the game and how they were able to bounce back to a 14-0 run)
“We just needed to play defense. Our spacing on offense needed to be better, but defensively was where [the problem] was at. I guess you could say it started out well, but we missed some easy ones and things like that so I was proud of how we responded.”
Lakers Head Coach Mike D’Antoni:
(On what happened to the team in tonight’s loss)
“In the first quarter I thought we played really well, then we took a body blow, and it looked like it just took us to our knees. We took it from the second group, not their first group and for whatever reason, we couldn’t take shots, we couldn’t finish plays, we couldn’t do anything. The air went out big time; they smelled blood in the water and they killed us.”
(On what you say to the team after a loss like this)
“Keep their heads up. Nothing we can do about that, we just have to flush it down and go to the next one, and get ready for tomorrow night. We’ll try to figure out what’s wrong, but obviously we ran into a better team. They’re more athletic and just better; that’s the number one thing. The second thing is we shrugged our shoulders, felt sorry for ourselves, and let it go away.”
(On whether it hurts more that it is the worst loss in franchise history)
“Well, it’s not a great thing. That’s for sure, but there’s not much we can do about it now. We just have to get better and get through it, regroup, and play better.”
(Where is the disconnect in the team’s defense)
“Just not performing as well as we can. They’re trying. It’s not like they’re not trying. When you’re a little bit slower than the other team, and a lot less athletic, they just carved us up.”
(On what happened after Clippers’ Coach Doc Rivers called a timeout when the Lakers were up seven points)
“Well, they’re good, and they put the hammer down a little bit; that’s one. Two, I think a couple calls went against us that changed the momentum a little bit. We finished up the quarter really well, but against their second group, we just couldn’t do anything.”
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By: Ben Haber | Follow @HaberBen
Doc Rivers routinely talks about the importance of winning on the road, and the Clippers ironically have an opportunity to do so on their home court (Staples Center) against the Lakers.
The Clippers (42-20) head into Thursday on a season high five-game win streak, including three straight on the road. With 20 games remaining every game is important for the Clippers in the standings. They are within six-hundredths of a percentage point from third place in the Western Conference and three losses separate No. 2 San Antonio from the Pacific Division leading Clippers.
The Lakers (21-40), on the other hand, are in the heart of the NBA lottery conversation, tied with Utah for the worst record in the Western Conference. Pau Gasol and Kendall Marshall helped the Lakers unexpectedly help the Clippers with a one-point over the Portland Trail Blazers Monday. Despite 125 points a day later, the Lakers fell to the New Orleans Pelicans at home.
Twenty and a half games separate the Clippers and Lakers in the standings, which is the largest separation in the history of the series.
Matt Barnes vs. Jodie Meeks
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
- The Clippers and Lakers bring contrasting approaches to the table. Rivers’ coached teams always place the emphasis on defense. Mike D’Antoni carries an offensive reputation, resulting in quick tempo and launching 3-pointers. The Clippers have a traditional front line of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. The Lakers prefer to go small, recently inserting Wesley Johnson (6-foot-7) into the starting lineup and putting him at stretch power forward. That said, the Clippers operate at an offensive pace only 2.0 points per 100 possessions slower than the Lakers, who own the league’s second fastest pace (100.0).
- Griffin continues to set records, scoring 20-plus points in 20 games in a row, the most in franchise history since the team moved to Los Angeles in 1984-85. The last time Griffin came up short of 20 points was against the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 18, 2014, missing the marker by a mere point. Conversely, Griffin has snatched only 10 rebounds over his last two performances. Griffin is now 30 rebounds away from reaching 3,000 in his career.
- A lot of opponents try to defend Chris Paul by using length, and the Lakers are going to follow suit with a combination of Kent Bazemore, Kendall Marshall and Johnson. Paul just had an off night in Phoenix, going 4-for-14 from the field. For the first time in the 2013-14 campaign, Paul has not had a double-doubles in three games in a row. The shortcomings were almost success stories, as Paul came up a grand total of four assists shy of three straight double-doubles. In spite of an 18 game absence, Paul accumulated 30 double-doubles, ranking tied for ninth in the NBA.
The Clippers have won five of their last six games against the Lakers, and are 6-3 in the series since the start of the 2011-12 season… The Clippers, winners of five in a row, have six winning streaks of four games or longer this season, which is tied for the most in the league… The Lakers have two recent former Clippers on the roster (Chris Kaman and Nick Young). The Clippers, on the other hand, have one former Laker (Barnes)…
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Chris Paul: “It shows growth as a team when you get up for every game. Every game for us has to be a big game, just like New Orleans and just like [Phoenix]. The Lakers beat Portland the other night. I watched that game. I don’t care what their record says. Even though we’re playing at Staples Center it’s another road game for us. We’ve been bad on the road and they beat us the first game of the year. So, we’ll be ready.”
LAC: Jamal Crawford (calf) is day-to-day. J.J. Redick (back) will be out for his 12th consecutive game. Jared Dudley’s (back) availability may be decided right before tipoff.
LAL: Nick Young (knee) is questionable… Steve Nash (back), Kobe Byrant (knee),
REGULAR SEASON HISTORY
All Time: 54-144 (Home: 36-64, Road: 18-80)
Current Overall Streak: Won 1
Road Streak: Lost 1
Last Win: Feb. 14, 2013 (125-101)
Last Loss: Oct. 29, 2013 (103-116)
Largest Margin of Victory:
Road: 26 (124-98), Nov. 13, 1992
Largest Margin of Defeat:
Road: 40 (126-86), Jan. 15, 2010
Mar. 6, 2014: at Staples Center (Lakers home)
Apr. 6, 2014: at Staples Center (Clippers home)
LAST TIME OUT
Pts: Barnes 28