Game #54 | February 9, 2014
Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA

  • 78

  • 123

- TOP PERFORMERS -


POINTS
REBOUNDS ASSISTS STEALS BLOCKS
26 20 8 4 4
COMPLETE GAME INFORMATION | GAME NOTES
 

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15

15

21

27

78

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45

23

31

23

123


RECAP

LOS ANGELES – The Clippers welcomed Chris Paul back from an 18-game absence in emphatic fashion.

Emphasis on emphatic.

They overwhelmed the visiting Philadelpha 76ers, led by as many as 56 points and set a bushel of franchise records in their 123-78 blowout victory Sunday night at Staples Center.

It was the widest margin of victory in franchise history, surpassing a 39-point win over the Chicago Bulls in November. The Clippers (36-18) scored 26 points in less than six minutes and had 46, one short of a Los Angeles team record, in the opening quarter. And it was quite a show.

DeAndre Jordan, who had 10 points, 20 rebounds and four blocked shots, threw down two alley-oops from Blake Griffin, Paul assisted on two of the first three Clippers’ possessions, Jamal Crawford scored 14 of his 21 points in the first quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers, and Griffin was pacing a triple-double.

“It was one of those nights,” Griffin said. “They missed a lot of open shots and we seemed to hit everything. We were playing well defensively, but I think a little bit of it is that we were extremely hot and I think they were a little cold.”

They led 26-5 after Philadelphia called its second timeout in 4:54. Anyone who questioned whether or not the Clippers would have trouble adjusting to Paul’s presence after going 12-6 as he recovered from a separated right shoulder had their answer.

“It was tough [to incorporate him],” Griffin joked.

Paul had seven points, eight assists and four steals in 23 minutes and outside of a few timing issues looked like the player who had emerged as an MVP candidate through the season’s first two months. Griffin finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. He was 11-for-14 from the field and caught two alley-oops from Paul in the second quarter within 27 seconds of each other. The first came on a breakaway where Paul threw a pass off the backboard and the next one after a steal and behind the back pass from Griffin to Paul that Paul returned on a lob.

“That pace was almost too fast. I loved it, though,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “When you play like that a lot of good things happen.”

The Clippers had 15 steals, 32 points off 18 turnovers and scored 25 points in transition. They scored the first 13 points of the game and never looked back. Their 69-30 halftime lead was the largest after two quarters in franchise history. They also held the 76ers (15-37) to a franchise-low 27.0 percent shooting and 10.7 percent (3-for-28 ) from 3-point range.

“Defensively, I think it can break a team’s will when they can’t score,” Crawford said. “We were covering for each other; we were flying around. Offensively, having [Paul], the ball just moves. It moves. You pass up good shots for great shots. We did that numerous times tonight.”

Much of it started with the return of Paul. Rivers said it was obvious that team was excited to have their floor general back. Paul said he felt “great” to be back.

“It’s one of those things where you never know what it’s going to be like until you get out there and compete and play,” Paul said. “It just felt good to get out there and compete.”

NOTES

No Clippers player logged more than 29:33… Darren Collison scored 12 points with five assists in his first game as a reserve since Jan. 3… The Clippers are 22-4 at home… Eight players on the Clippers scored eight or more points… Sasha Vujacic had five points. His first as a member of the Clippers… Antawn Jamison scored eight points on 4-for-5 shooting. It was his first game since Jan. 10… Tony Wroten led the Sixers with 21 points off the bench… The Clippers improved to 23-0 this season when they make at least nine 3-pointers in a game. They went 9-for-28… Crawford, who started for the third game in a row in place of J.J. Redick (hip), scored 19 or more points for the 14th time in the last 15 games… The Clippers are tied with the Spurs and Timberwolves for the most wins by 20 points or more this season (nine)…

QUOTES

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: Chris Paul’s performance tonight

 

“He looked great. He ran into some people which was good. Obviously his passing, he does what he does, had some fumbles but I think that’s a point guard problem. When you miss games, you can see that [he’s] not used to it… you can see he was fumbling the ball a little bit but overall, I mean he was terrific.”

 

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: Chris Paul’s playing time tonight

 

“I didn’t want to have to play him that much anyways so in this case, it kind of worked out for him. He got a taste of it and now we get to have a practice on Tuesday and then play a game on Wednesday, so he gets another break. I don’t know if there is a better way to bring a guy back in than in the way it’s worked out.”

 

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: Team’s energy

 

“I just think that they were excited to get Chris [Paul] back in the lineup. You can see that in the way the guys were flying down the floor. That’s really nice to see, you know, that a guy misses that many games and for Blake [Griffin] to Jamal [Crawford], they were excited to see him back on the floor. That tells you a lot about where your team is at as far as being together. It was good.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL

RE: Mentality of his first game back

 

“So many things are going through your mind, especially when you come back. You want to make sure you’re not too tired, make sure you’re not trying too hard. At the same time, we’ve been playing extremely well. I didn’t want to break that rhythm also.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL

RE: Key to defensive success

 

“Preparation definitely has a lot to do with it. With our coaching staff – Doc [Rivers], [Tyronn] Lue, [Brendan] O’Connor, they’re heads of defense – we’re prepared going into every game. So it’s up to us to execute it. We were on a string tonight. When one guy gets beat, the other guy is there. It’s not going to be perfect every night and some teams are still going to make shots, but as long as we try and do what we’re supposed to, we’ll be okay.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL

RE: Offensive strategy for himself and Blake Griffin

 

“Blake [Griffin] has been unbelievable, just dominating. When we get the ball to Blake, a lot of times we all can play off of that because he has to be double-teamed most of the time. They went to switching ball-screens tonight. I told Blake „I’m going to go ball-screen, kick it into you, when they double, swing, swing.’ And that’s the thing – we’re all just making plays.”

 

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN

RE: Leading with large margin in game

 

“It’s just a mental thing you know, just to stay locked in and you know not start to get all too fancy or trying to do anything extra. I think I said in the locker room at halftime, let’s keep our composure and play simple. Our offense was working for us, our assists that we talked about before the game were still working for us and that is what we needed to stay in. We did slip a little bit but that’s the beauty of having such a big lead like that.”

 

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN

RE: Overall thoughts on pace of the game

 

“It was a fast pace but it was that’s because they played a fast paced as well. We wanted to push the ball, they wanted to push the ball and I remember four minutes into the game, looking up and be like, „aw man, we got eight minutes left’ (laughs). We feel like we can play that way and play that way to our advantage, you know, and we tried to use that.”

 

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN

RE: Chris Paul fresh for rest of season and playoffs

 

“It’s going to be nice that he’s fresh. Anytime you can rest that many games, obviously it wasn’t what we wanted but, anytime you can try to be as fresh as possible coming down the stretch, so it’s a blessing.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD

RE: Effect of Chris Paul’s return on tonight’s game

 

“Having this guy [Chris Paul] back, he set the tone. The energy from when he was introduced, to the level of play he brings, it makes everybody better. It makes everybody’s job easier. We fed off of that.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

 

“It was defense. Defensively, I think it can break a team’s will when they can’t score. We were covering for each other; we were flying around. Offensively, having him [Chris Paul], the ball just moves. It moves, you pass up good shots for great shots. We did that numerous times tonight.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD

RE: Chris Paul’s effect on the team

 

“It’s weird, because you obviously know how good he is. Playing with him and watching him from afar, watching him work out. But then to get back on the court in front of everybody in real games situations, he makes everybody’s job so much easier. I can’t wait until everybody is back – J.J. [Redick] and everyone – and we continue to click as we head toward the playoffs.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

 

“It’s fine to have Chris [Paul] back, obviously. He brought a lot of energy, and the crowd fed off of it. Our defense really set the tone. When we’re covering for each other like that, playing together, it makes it tough on other teams. It kind of breaks their rhythm.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD

RE: Chris Paul’s presence on the court

 

“He a natural-born leader. I think when he comes back, like he did tonight, (he) gets everybody in position, scores and makes plays. It really has a big difference on our team. Our team fed off of it, and we were really good tonight.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD DARREN COLLISON

RE: Thoughts on tonight’s starters

 

“I thought personally they did a good job on coming out with a good start. Guys have been getting on us for not coming out with a good start. I thought they did a really good job on getting off to a good start and not giving them the confidence early on.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD DARREN COLLISON

RE: Tonight’s strong defense

 

“That’s something that we’re trying to improve on. If we want to get far in the playoffs, we have to clean up our mistakes and habits now. Doc [Rivers] is always saying and always preaching, „defense, defense, defense.’ We can’t really rely on our offense, we’ve got to worry about our defense.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD DARREN COLLISON

RE: Chris Paul’s effect on the team’s energy

 

“Today everybody really wanted to play hard because Chris [Paul] came back and we were all excited that he was back. For me, just watching him, it’s just a treat. You get to learn from (him) and watch one of the best point guards in the league, and understand how the pace goes. Chris [Paul] is always doing a good job of getting everybody else involved. He just makes everybody want to play that much harder.”

 

SIXERS HEAD COACH BRETT BROWN

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

 

“Just the stage that you’re looking at and the players that are on that stage; and you see athletes and men; and a tenacity with the Clippers that you respect. I mean, that’s an intense, defensive oriented, athletic type of team that we ran into a buzzsaw and we got jumped early. We did not respond; and it’s a lesson that a young team is going to have to find a way navigate through, because that is a physical, athletic team; and we really did not respond to the start of that game well.

 

SIXERS HEAD COACH BRETT BROWN

RE: Positive takeaways

 

“I give them credit, because of their defensive intensity more than anything. They made some tough shots, but in general, my memory is going to be [of] what an incredible opportunity [this was] for Michael Carter-Williams to see Chris Paul play… and [to] play against him and see the physicality and I say this respectfully, but the cocky side, the tough side of him. I love him. I think Chris Paul is so unique. I’ve coached against him in the Olympic Games, I’ve coached with him in All-Star Games. You see him every time, you know, show you something a little bit different. And for Michael [Carter-Williams] to go against that and to have to guard it and to have to be guarded by it; that’s an incredible opportunity and an invaluable one for a young point guard.”

 

SIXERS CENTER SPENCER HAWES

RE: Play of DeAndre Jordan

 

“I think he’s much more disciplined. It seemed like in the past; [it was easy] getting him up in the air with the head fakes and stuff. He was more disciplined tonight; and he’s so athletic that he can kind of wait and jump after you shoot it.”

 

SIXERS GUARD MICHAEL CARTER-WILLIAMS

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

 

“I just learned what a playoff team looks like in the playoffs. I think the game is a lot different; from NBA regular season games to playoff games and they came out like they were playing in the NBA Finals. So, I definitely learned that. I learned a lot from Chris [Paul], he’s a great point guard. The way he controls his team…he’s just a great all-around player. So, I definitely learned a lot. I definitely have to switch some things up in my game, adjust a little bit, and let the game come to me a little bit.”

 

SIXERS GUARD MICHAEL CARTER-WILLIAMS

RE: Clippers Defensive intensity

 

“They were great on defense. They forced us into tough shots and they got out into transition.”

 

SIXERS FORWARD THADDEUS YOUNG

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

 

“The Clippers are a tough team. They’re preparing for the playoffs, trying to play at a high level. I think one of the reasons they got out so fast, I think Chris Paul being back was one of those emotional highs. But at the end of the day, us as a team, we have to go out there and make shots. We were getting good shots and we were getting good looks, we just weren’t making them. It’s like the lid was on the basket. But, you’re going to have some games like that; you just can’t let it get out of hand like that.”

 

SIXERS FORWARD THADDEUS YOUNG

RE: Play of Blake Griffin

 

“Each and every year he [Blake Griffin]’s been here, he’s developed more and more. He’s coming into one of those guys who can facilitate, pass out of crowds, and make plays for other guys on the team. Specifically, him and DeAndre Jordan… they’re throwing lobs to each other now. So, that’s one of the things that you have to look for, especially when he’ll do a big fake shooting motion, and he’ll just toss the ball up and DeAndre will dunk it. He [Blake Griffin]’s getting better each and every year and his jump shot’s getting better also. He’s been stepping out and making jumpers. So, the better he gets at that, the tougher he will be to guard.”

VIDEO

CROWN ROYAL SHOT OF THE GAME