HALFTIME BLOG: HOT-SHOOTING START ERASES FIRST-HALF TURNOVERS
LOS ANGELES – With J.J. Redick and Chris Paul starting together for the first time since November, it would stand to reason that the Clippers would likely get off to a hot shooting start.
Redick has a game under his belt since returning from a 25-game absence with a bulging disc in his lower back and Paul has shot the ball better over the last two weeks than perhaps any time this season.
And on Sunday afternoon against the Lakers it was Paul and Redick, along with Blake Griffin, that helped the Clippers open up a 57-49 first-half lead at Staples Center.
After a somewhat wobbly opening quarter, in which the Clippers committed seven turnovers and led by just three, they asserted themselves in the final five minutes of the second behind a 15-3 run.
Redick, who had 11 points in the half, started it with a jumper. He was 5-for-7 in the first, including going 3-for-5 in his first start since Feb. 3. Paul nailed a pull up 3-pointer over Ryan Kelly on the next possession and the Clippers got rolling for really the only time in the first 24 minutes. Griffin took advantage of Kelly a couple of plays later, pushing the ball down the center of the floor, faking a pass and dunking around the Lakers rookie despite contact.
Griffin finished with 16 points, four rebounds and three assists in the first half two days after tallying his first triple-double of the season. Paul had 13 points, three assists, three rebounds and two steals. The trio of Redick, Griffin and Paul went 17-for-23 from the field. The Clippers shot 60.5 percent from the field overall, including 5-for-9 from 3-point range (55.6 percent).
The Clippers defeated the Lakers by a combined 84 points in their previous two meetings and Sunday had a similar mismatched feel. However, 13 Clippers turnovers, leading to 16 points for the Lakers, helped keep the game within single digits for much of the half.
Former Clipper Nick Young led all scorers with 17 points. He took 11 shots.
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