FINAL | January 12, 2013 | Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA 

Magic

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Rafael Guerrero

LOS ANGELES – It was supposed to be a happy day for Clipper Nation. Grant Hill was slated to make his season debut and the Clippers were riding a franchise-record home winning streak. But the Orlando Magic ruined all the fun.

J.J. Redick hit a go-ahead 3-pointer to break a tie game and Jamal Crawford missed a game-tying 3-pointer as time expired and the Clippers fell, 104-101, to the Magic Saturday afternoon at Staples Center.

The loss snapped the Clippers’ (28-9) 13-game home winning streak, a franchise record. The Magic (13-23) ended a 10-game losing streak and recorded their first victory in 2013.

“An embarrassing performance for us today,” head coach Vinny Del Negro said. “We got outworked in every aspect: second-chance points, rebounding. We wanted to take the three-ball out of the game and today we didn’t do that at all.”

The Magic were 11-of-25 from beyond the arc and they outrebounded the Clippers 41-35, led by second-year center Nikola Vucevic who grabbed 15 boards. The Magic outscored the Clippers 29-18 on 11-for-21 shooting in the fourth quarter to overcome an eight-point deficit.

As for Hill’s return, it took three full quarters for the 19-year veteran to finally make his entrance. But when Hill checked in to start the fourth quarter he received a standing ovation from the home crowd. He scored his first and only two points of the season on free throws and grabbed two rebounds despite going 0-for-3 from the field.

“It is good to get back out there and test your body,” Hill said. “The thing is you can’t get overly frustrated because it is a process but you also can’t be satisfied. You have to just keep working every day.”

Difference Maker: Redick. He scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, including the game-tying finger roll with 1:30 left in the game. Then with 42.1 seconds left, he drained the go-ahead 3-pointer after pump faking to get Matt Barnes out of position. Redick also drew an offensive foul an offensive foul on Crawford with 12.9 seconds remaining to give the Magic control of the game and essentially seal the victory.

“I saw that Crawford and Barnes were two-on-one on my side so I decided to just protect the rim,” Redick said. “If he [Crawford] kicked it out to Barnes, either me or somebody else would have to close late. He didn’t give the ball up, he just kind of ran right through me.”

Moment of Truth: The final 33 seconds. Despite Redick’s 3-pointer, the Clippers still had a chance to pull out their 14th consecutive home victory. Chris Paul hit a jumper at the right elbow with 33.5 seconds left to pull the Clippers within one. Jameer Nelson then missed a leaner thanks to excellent defense from Lamar Odom and the Clippers had a chance to score the go-ahead bucket on the fast break. But Crawford bypassed an open Barnes in the corner and tried to drive into the lane where Redick stepped in to draw the charge.

“I got the ball in transition and I thought I saw Matt over there,” Crawford said. “I thought I made the right decision but Redick guessed right. I thought he was going to rotate so I faced it, and when I put the ball down he stayed there so lucky guess.”

The Clippers had one more chance to tie the game but Crawford missed a 3-pointer as time expired, ending the Clippers vaunted home-winning streak.

Stat Line of the Day: Griffin. The superstar power forward narrowly missed recording his third-career triple-double. He scored 30 points on 15-for-22 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds to go along with seven assists. He was particularly spectacular in the third quarter. With the score deadlocked 66-66, DeAndre Jordan grabbed a Nelson miss and threw what appeared to be an errant outlet pass to Griffin at center court. Redick, who was still on the Clippers end of the court, reached for the loose ball but Griffin beat him to it and put an impromptu crossover on Redick and then slammed home a two-handed dunk. He went on to score 14 points in the quarter on 7-of-8 shooting, including baskets on five straight possessions.

But the fourth quarter was a different story. He checked into the game with 5:35 left in the game and did not attempt a shot. He had just one assist in the final period.

“It doesn’t sit well at all,” Griffin said. “This was a bad loss. Not to take away from them because they played well and always play hard.”

More Stats: 

Aaron Afflalo: He led the Magic with a season-high 30 points on 10-for-19 shooting. He scored eight points in the critical fourth quarter and also finished with seven rebounds and seven assists, also season highs.

Paul. The Clippers point guard recorded his 16th double-double of the season with 10 points 16 assists. He also had a game-high four steals. It was Paul’s second straight game with at least 16 assists, the first time he has done so since 2008.

Hot: Afflalo in the second half. He scored 23 of his 30 points in the final two periods and missed just three of his 11 shot attempts. He went 5-for-6 in the third quarter alone and also hit all three of his 3-point attempts in the second half, which included a 4-point play that made it 95-93.

Not: The Clippers second-half 3-point shooting. After hitting 6-of-8 from beyond the arc in the first half, the well went dry for the team in the last two quarters. They were just 3-for-14 from 3-point land and 1-of-5 from distance in the fourth quarter. Paul and Barnes went a combined 0-for-5 on their 3-pointers in the second half.

Quotables:

On the final play of the game:

Del Negro: “It looked like our timing was a little off. I don’t think we set a good flair screen. We didn’t set the play up very well in terms of our set-up position and the way we got the screen from the top.”

On Redick’s charge at the end of the game:

Vucevic: “That charge was huge. We actually talked about it yesterday at practice, how we need to take more charges… And today he comes up and takes a huge charge at the end of the game.”

On snapping their 10-game losing streak:

Redick: “Well, seven of our last ten games have all been one possession games at one point or another in the last minute and we haven’t had the ball bounce our way. The law of averages worked out and we just got the ball to bounce our way.”

Notes: Glen Davis (shoulder), Gustavo Ayon (right thigh contusion) and Hedo Turkoglu (thumb) did not play for the Magic… The Clippers have lost five consecutive home games to the Magic. They have not beaten Orlando in Los Angeles since December 3, 2006…Prior to the victory, the Magic were one of two teams (Lakers) in the league that had scored a victory in 2013. The last victory came against the Washington Wizards on Dec. 19… Six players scored in double figures for the Clippers including four players (Jordan, Paul, Barnes, and Willie Green) with 10 points… The Clippers had just nine turnovers, the fewest they have committed in a loss this season.

 

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