Notebook: Clippers 129, Pistons 97



Posted Mar 11, 2013 1:24 AM

Dan Arritt, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Facing a schedule that includes just two games in 10 days, both at home, the Clippers didn't bother conserving energy Sunday night against the visiting Pistons. No, they steamrolled Detroit from start to finish, establishing a number of season-high offensive marks in the 129-97 rout at Staples Center.

QUOTABLE: "We did what we wanted to do and we had solid performances."

-- Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro

THE STAT: The Clippers scored the most points since putting up 140 in an overtime win four years ago against the Knicks. They shot a season-high 62.5 percent from the field, made 50 field goals, which was 10 more than their previous season high, and distributed a season-best 37 assists. L.A. came out of the game on fire, producing its highest-scoring half of the season (70), converting its most field goals (27) and shooting its highest field-goal percentage (64.3).

TURNING POINT: The Clippers scored the game's first five points and it was pretty much all downhill from there. L.A. went ahead by as many as 14 points in the opening quarter, stretched its biggest lead to 26 in the second and even outscored the Pistons in the third and fourth frames.

HOT: Most of the credit for the sizzling shooting percentage belongs to Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Matt Barnes, who combined to shoot 28-for-34 in limited minutes. Griffin and Paul were each 9-for-12 and Jordan and Barnes finished 5-for-5. Barnes made all his shots from beyond the 3-point arc and Jordan made his on dunks, including one that will be replayed and remembered for years to come.

NOT: Already down two key reserves because of injury, Clippers starting forward Caron Butler went to the locker room clutching his left elbow late in the third quarter and did not return. The injury was diagnosed as a contusion. Fortunately for the Clippers, they have just one game in the next six days. Butler is expected to have an MRI on Monday.

QUOTABLE II: "[Butler] is in some pain right now so, hopefully, we'll get some good news tomorrow. ... I just talked to him and he's not feeling good right now."

-- Del Negro

GOOD MOVE: Jordan had the airspace above the rim to himself for much of the first half due to foul trouble on Griffin, his wing mate and flying partner. With about 4 ½ minutes left in the first half Jordan went up for a lob pass from Paul and not only stuffed the basketball through the rim but threw down Brandon Knight as well, dropping the Pistons guard flat on his back. Adding insult to injury, Knight was also called for a foul on the play and Jordan converted the free throw for a 58-36 lead.

BAD MOVE: Griffin's foul trouble began after he crossed half court and came up behind Knight, who was holding the ball near the 3-point line. Griffin got too close and when Knight put the ball on the floor he tripped over Griffin's foot, resulting in his second foul with 7:26 still remaining in the first quarter. Griffin returned with 8:45 left in the second, but picked up No. 3 less than two minutes later, sending him back to the bench for the remainder of the half. Griffin was productive while he was in the game during the first half, scoring 14 points in six minutes on 6-for-6 shooting.

NOTABLE: The Clippers played without backup guards Eric Bledsoe (sore left calf) and Jamal Crawford (sore left ankle). ... San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat courtside. ... Maalik Wayns, whom the Clippers signed to a 10-day contract Saturday, made his NBA debut early in the fourth quarter. The rookie guard from Villanova had two points, five assists, two steals and five fouls in 11 minutes. ... Paul needs five points for 10,000 in his career.

UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Wednesday vs. Memphis, Sunday vs. New York, March 19 @ Sacramento. For the Pistons, Monday @ Utah, Wednesday @ Golden State, Saturday @ Portland.