REDICK’S CAREER NIGHT KEYS CLIPPERS
LOS ANGELES – J.J. Redick curled around a screen, leaned in and shot a deadeye 3-pointer from straightaway to help finish off the Clippers’ remarkable comeback Wednesday night.
As the shell-shocked Mavericks called timeout, Redick sauntered down the center of the floor, his arms raised. It was the defining moment of a career-high scoring night for Redick, three of his 33 points coming at a time when the Clippers needed them the most.
“J.J [Redick] has been playing phenomenal this,” Darren Collison said. “Especially tonight, he played great and you know, without him, we probably wouldn’t win the game.”
Redick finished 7-for-10 from 3-point range. He missed just four shots all night and added five assists, three rebounds and two steals.
“He was incredible tonight,” DeAndre Jordan said of Redick.
Redick had 11 points in the first quarter, continuing his tear as the league’s fifth leading scorer in the game’s first 12 minutes. In 19 games this season, Redick’s averaged 7.2 points per game in the first.
“He got us going early offensively, going off screens, making some big shots; that’s what he does,” Jordan added. “When he can shoot as well as he did tonight, it opens up the floor for Blake [Griffin] and cutters like Matt [Barnes] and Jared Dudley for easy buckets.”
Redick’s outburst helped the Clippers to their second 70-point first half in a row, which has coincided with his return from a 21-game absence with a fractured right hand and partially torn ligament in his wrist. The Clippers are 2-0 in those games.
“I feel confident playing,” Redick said. “I wouldn’t be out there if I weren’t confident in my cardio and my skill level, and my wrist coming back from injury. But, it’s nice to have shots go in early, and that happened again tonight.”
While scoring is Redick’s most well-known attribute, his toughness and playmaking ability is often overlooked. His relentless movement off the ball helped open things up for others. He defended Dirk Nowitzki on a possession late and forced a miss. And even sprinted to an open spot on the wing in the first half after Samuel Dalembert stepped on his head on the other end of the floor.
Redick shook off the cobwebs, and a cut in his ear, to keep shooting and playing the kind of all-around basketball that his former head coach with the Magic told Doc Rivers about this summer.
“Stan Van Gundy when talking about him said, ‘You’re going to think you’re getting a shooter, and you’re going to be shocked that you’re going to get so much more,’” Rivers said “He’s a playmaker and he’s tough and he’s always in the right spot on defense and he tells everybody the truth, even the coaches. And that’s a good thing.”
On a night like Wednesday, the truth about Redick was devastating to the Mavericks.