POSTGAME REPORT: CLIPPERS 106, SPURS 84 - 11/7/12

LOS ANGELES - The Clippers needed this one.

After dropping their last two games, the Clippers were eager to face the San Antonio Spurs for an opportunity to bounce back.

In the teams’ first meeting of the year, the Clippers looked to dictate the tempo of the game with their defense, forcing 20 turnovers and leading by as many as 28 points en route to a 106-84 victory at home, handing the Spurs their first loss of the season. 

“We were shooting well, but our defense triggered everything for us tonight,” Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said. “[The Spurs] are capable of scoring a lot of points, and I think we did a good job of limiting them as much as possible.

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The game turned into a layup drill by the second half as the Clippers (3-2) got out and running in the open floor. DeAndre Jordan was often the recipient of his teammates’ steals by throwing down enough dunks to put together an entire highlight reel, posting his first double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Eric Bledsoe led a 10-2 run to end the third quarter to put the Clippers up by 20 and the Spurs (4-1) never recovered.

Difference Maker: Jordan. He rose to the challenge against Tim Duncan and the Spurs’ poised frontline on a near-perfect shooting night: 10-12 from the field when his team needed him most in the paint and on the glass.

“He definitely is our X-Factor,” Chris Paul said.

Turning Point: Jordan’s powerful dunk in transition with 5:21 left in the third quarter stretched the Clippers’ lead to 14 (67-53), further shifting the game’s momentum in L.A.’s favor.

Stat Line of the Night: In addition to his double-double, Jordan also made an impact on the defensive end with 4 blocks and 2 steals.

More Stats:

Blake Griffin. The power forward finished with 22 points and 10 boards, and his eight points in the fourth quarter helped seal the deal for the Clippers.

Paul. Paul was one of three Clippers to finish with a double-double with 10 points and 12 assists, on an efficient 4-for-8 shooting.

Bledsoe. The reserve guard scored 15 points and had five assists in 22 minutes of play, on 7-for-14 shooting.

Hot: L.A. in the paint. The Clippers won the rebounding battle 46-29, and scored 54 points in the paint compared to the Spurs’ 32. They also managed a 16-3 rebounding edge in the decisive third quarter.

Not: The Spurs’ offense. No player scored more than 12 points nor attempted more than eight shots. The Clippers held San Antonio to 41.1% shooting.

Quotables:

On the Clippers’ intensity:

Jordan: “Chauncey [Billups] gave us a good talking to after the last two games. We really didn’t want to disappoint him. He told us that we took our last two opponents for granted and we didn’t come out to play. Tonight we brought more intensity and it helped us.”

On the Spurs’ downfall:

Manu Ginobili. “[The Clippers] wanted the game more than us. They pressured us, they blitzed us, and we turned the ball over a lot. They really wanted it.”

On limiting the Spurs to 16 points in the first quarter:

Willie Green. “In practice the other day, we talked about how the two games we lost we gave up 30-point quarters. When we’re aggressive on defense like we were tonight, stepping in the passing lanes, we’re a better team. If we can continue to make teams turn the ball over, we can get more opportunities to score.”

Notes: Tonight’s game is the first time that Griffin and Jordan both had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in the same game… Green notched 11 points on 5-for-5 shooting. It was the most field goals he’s made in one game without missing in his career… The Clippers saw seven players reach double figures and outshot San Antonio 55.4% to 41.4%... San Antonio committed 20 turnovers, including four by Tony Parker.