Game #46 | January 25, 2014
Air Canada Centre | Toronto, ON, Canada
TORONTO – At a certain point when the scoring on Saturday night was at its apex Clippers head coach Doc Rivers may as well have been standing on the sideline of an ABA game.
With defense optional, the Clippers and Raptors put together one of the more enthralling two-way offensive shows of the season. But ultimately when it came down to it, the Clippers made enough stops to pull out a 126-118 win at Air Canada Centre and win for the fourth time on their seven-game road trip.
The Clippers (31-15) won north of the border since 2008, and they did it a breakneck pace.
“It was one of those nights where there was going to be no defense played,” Rivers said. “We played just a little bit more than they did. But it was a shot-makers game. I thought an ABA game broke out in the middle of it.”
Jamal Crawford scored 26 of his team-high 37 points in the first half and added 11 assists and three rebounds to a season-best night. Blake Griffin scored 30 points, something the recently named All-Star starter is doing with more and more regularity of late. J.J. Redick had 18 points, including 16 in the second half after he spent all but four minutes of the first half in the locker room receiving treatment for lower back spasms.
They needed it almost all of it to merely keep up with Toronto’s Terrence Ross, who scored 51 points on 16-of-28 shooting. It was the most points by an individual against the Clippers since George Gervin had 52 in 1979 and Ross’ 10 3-pointers were the most ever allowed by the Clippers.
“When you can absorb a 50 [point game] and still win the game, it says a lot about your team,” Rivers said. “It really does.”
The Clippers overcame Ross’ career night by finally buckling down when they had to. After Jonas Valanciunas converted an alley-oop layup with 6:35 to go to give the Raptors (22-21) a 107-106 lead, the Clippers put together an 11-1 run over the next two and a half minutes to snatch away their fourth road win in six games.
Redick, who checked in for Crawford at the 6:34 mark, buried a 3-pointer, Darren Collison, who had 12 points and six assists, made a running layup, Redick nailed baseline jumper and Griffin converted back-to-back driving layups. But the key was on the other end, where they forced two tough 3-point misses by Toronto and nearly forced a shot-clock violation.
“We really have what it takes to dig down and get stops when we need to,” Griffin said. “The last five minutes it seemed like we got every stop that we wanted except for them getting to the free throw line at the end of the game.”
There was so such semblance of that earlier in the game, however, when Ross and Crawford engaged in a basket-for-basket shootout for much of the first half. For every Ross 3-pointer or alley-oop, Crawford matched him with a long jumper or runner or trip to the foul line.
“You get it going and you’re teammates do a good job of setting you up and coach draws up some great plays and I took advantage,” Crawford said. “When you’re in a shootout like that and it comes down to a few stops and you guys come out with a win it’s always fun.”
Matt Barnes added 11 points, Collison had 12 points and six assists and DeAndre Jordan secured 11 rebounds.
Redick left the game with 8:04 left in the first quarter with lower back spasms and did not return until the start of the second half. He was worked on by team medical personnel and played 19 second-half minutes.
“It felt good enough,” Redick said. “I definitely feel like adrenaline and activating everything else helped. It made me functional enough.
“Within like two minutes the exact same thing that happened in the first half it locked up again. And I thought, ‘Man, I’m already out here I’m going to run up and down again and see if it gets loose.’ By the end of the third it was good. It took a second after I got back in the fourth but in terms of movement I felt like I was moving fine.”
Redick is dealing with a sore right shoulder and sore left knee as well. But managed to play through it all.
The Clippers scored 71 points in the first half, the most allowed by the Raptors this season. It was their fourth 70-point half of the season, but the first on the road… DeMar DeRozan left the game with a sprained right foot and did not play in the second half… The Clippers made 12 3-pointers, a night after they made 13 against the Bulls… The Clippers scored 22 points off 15 Raptors turnovers… Crawford’s 11 assists matched a season high (Nov. 29)… Crawford is the first bench player to score 37 points with 11 assists in a game in the last 28 years…
Clippers guard Willie Green on Jamal Crawford’s performance:
“Awesome. Offensively, he had it going. He was getting guys involved and he’s really been big for us lately.”
Clippers forward Blake Griffin on his own game:
“I didn’t hit many shots. I got to the free throw line. But our guys really carried us, especially in the fourth quarter. Jamal, [Darren Collison], everybody was doing their part.”
Clippers guard J.J. Redick on how he managed his back injury:
“We tried a bunch of different things and we couldn’t get my back to not be locked up. Something happened during the Charlotte game and it kind of just grabbed in the first half there early in the game. I said, ‘No’ three times, but [our medical staff] was persistent back here. It just got to the point where I felt like I could run and then I said if I can run let me go warm up at halftime.”
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers on the fourth quarter:
“I really called the timeout because we were losing our composure a little bit. We were upset at the guy scoring. I said guys clearly we haven’t stopped anybody all night, so we have to keep playing.”
Raptors forward Terrence Ross on his 51-point game:
“You don’t think about it once you try winning you try winning the game or whatever. You don’t really realize what you’re doing until it’s all over. This is my first time getting over 30 points. It would have been better if we had the win, but I guess that’s just how it goes.”
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By: Ben Haber | Follow @HaberBen
People all around the United States witnessed the Clippers entertaining, unique show Friday on ESPN. But the Clippers don’t plan on leaving Canada hanging, going north of the border to face the Toronto Raptors for the first time this season on Saturday. The Clippers (30-15) are coming off another convincing win over the Bulls, 112-95. The Raptors (22-20) will also be partaking in back-to-back action after beating the Philadelphia 76ers 104-95 Friday evening. By looking at the records, the Clippers would appear to be higher in the standings, which is ironically and surprisingly incorrect. The tale of the two conferences tells the story on seeding. The Raptors are currently third in the East while the Clippers fourth in the West.
J.J. REDICK VS. DEMAR DEROZAN
- Success from beyond the arc often leads to Clippers wins. When Jamal Crawford, Darren Collison, Matt Barnes, Redick and more hit nine-plus 3-pointers, Los Angeles owns a perfect record of 19-0. The Clippers drained 13 long distance shots against the Bulls. The Ralph Lawler “Bingo” may routinely be on the airwaves again versus the Raptors, ranking only No. 20 in 3-point defense.
- Crawford shines brightest in the fourth quarter. His averages across the board rise, including scoring nearly seven points per game. Crawford is one of the main reasons the Clippers score the third most points down the stretch, while the Raptors are No. 16.
- The Clippers are just 12-12 on the road this season and while Toronto is just 11-9 at home, Air Canada Centre has been a problem building for the Clippers historically. They have not won in the Great White North since 2008 and were defeated by 25 points during the Grammy road trip last year.
- Silently DeRozan has emerged into one of the premier young players in the game. His last two games against the Dallas Mavericks and 76ers caught everyone’s attention, posting 74 total points. Barnes will likely draw first crack at guarding him.
- The Raptors scoring, passing and rebounding numbers are average at best. Despite the pedestrian numbers in three major categories, their No. 3 touted defense picks up the slack. The Clippers potent offense exposed the Bulls No. 2 defense. The challenging task at hand doesn’t waver against Toronto.
- Kyle Lowry and backup point guard Greivis Vasquez account for nearly 50 percent of Toronto’s total assists. It’s a much different look compared to the Clippers, who are finding ways to spread the ball around in spite of the absence of Chris Paul. Griffin, Crawford and Collison have all shared the team lead in assists over the past 10 games Paul has missed.
The Clippers haven’t prevailed at the Air Canada Centre since Feb 8, 2008… Jordan has grabbed at least 12 rebounds in a game a league-high 34 times… Toronto has won two in a row and is 6-4 in its last 10 games…
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
Doc Rivers: “Even with Chris we were [looking to Blake Griffin]. But once Chris went out, we had to. It’s funny, Blake wants the ball like any other scorer. But when Blake wants the ball, he doesn’t necessarily want the ball to shoot it, he wants the ball to make a play. And he makes a play. He’s one of those few stars that when his number is called, he doesn’t think it’s his shoot, he thinks it’s the team play but he has the ball. I think that’s what makes him so good.”
LAC: Paul (shoulder) remains out.
TOR: Tyler Hansbrough (ankle) is questionable.
REGULAR SEASON SEIRES HISTORY
All-Time: 14-20 (Home: 9-8, Road: 5-12)
Current Overall Streak: Lost 1
Road Streak: Lost 4
Last Win: Feb. 8, 2008 (102-98)
Last Loss: Feb. 1, 2013 (98-73)
Largest Margin of Victory:
Road: 10 (78-68), Jan. 9, 2004
Largest Margin of Defeat:
Road: 25 (73-98), Feb. 1, 2013
LAST TIME OUT