Notebook: Clippers 90, Timberwolves 77



Posted Jan 17, 2013 11:59 PM

By Jim Beilby, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Los Angeles Clippers got an early lead and never looked back, defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves, 90-77, on Thursday night. It wasn't the Clippers' most efficient game as they turned over the ball 18 times and let the Wolves gain an advantage in the fast break, but it was enough. Jamal Crawford scored 22 off the bench for Los Angeles and Blake Griffin added 20 points.

Losers of five straight, Minnesota continues to lose more than games. With Kevin Love, Chase Budinger, Malcolm Lee, and Brandon Roy already out with injuries, Minnesota lost two more players in this game. Nikola Pekovic suffered a left quad contusion and left the court with 3:39 to play in the third quarter after getting tangled up with Griffin on an attempted lob. And Alexey Shved left the game with 5:40 to play in the game with a sprained ankle. Both were unable to return and both are expected to be unavailable for practice tomorrow. Luke Ridnour scored a season-high 21 points for Minnesota.

QUOTABLE: "We found a way to win, but it wasn't our best execution game. In the fourth quarter, we got some stops when we needed to. Blake set the tone for us and our bench -- Jamal and Lamar Odom with his 12 rebounds and six assists -- did a great job for us."
-- Clippers' coach, Vinny Del Negro.

THE STAT: The Clippers' bench ran circles around Minnesota's reserves all night, outscoring them 45-23. The Clippers' bench is second in the league in scoring with 41.6 ppg. They are led by Crawford's 16.8 ppg in his 37 games off the bench.

TURNING POINT: Leading by five going into the final quarter, the Clippers went on a 16-6 run in the opening seven minutes of the fourth quarter.

QUOTABLE II: "We are in the middle of a storm. This is like a perfect storm right now in regards to the games playing out the same. We are running out of gas at the end and not being able to make shots and make plays and we are having people come up injured. I don't know what Pek's status is or Alexey's. I will go back and check, but when they walked off, it didn't look good."
-- Minnesota acting head coach, Terry Porter.

NOTABLE: Clipper's guard, Matt Barnes, had made a 3-pointer in 16 straight games until tonight when he was 0-for-3 .. The Clippers have the second best record in the league. They rank first in steals, second in assists, and fourth in field goal percentage .. Porter continues as acting head coach for Minnesota tonight, as Rick Adelman remains on leave due to the illness of his wife.

UP NEXT: For the Wolves, Saturday vs. Houston, Monday @ Atlanta, Wednesday vs. Brooklyn. For the Clippers, Saturday vs. Washington, Monday @ Golden State, Tuesday vs. Oklahoma City.