Five Takeaways: Clippers Post Season-High 31 Assists in Win Over Kings
LOS ANGELES — The Clippers, led by Milos Teodosic, used a season-high 31 assists to take down the Kings on Tuesday night, 122-95.
Here are five quick takeaways from the Clippers win.
Quote of the Night: “Milos Teodosic knows you’re open before you’re open. Sometimes the ball’s there and you’re like, oh.” - Jamil Wilson
1) Career night for Teodosic —
In his sixth game since returning from injury, Milos Teodosic recorded both a Clippers season-high and career-high in assists with 10. The 30-year-old rookie point guard controlled the Clippers offensive flow, and when the Clippers blew the game over the second quarter, Teodosic was instrumental, tallying 4 assists and connecting on two three-pointers, including a 28-footerhe walked into near the end, exhibiting a shooting swagger he hadn’t shown this season.
“It is infectious, too, when you watch Milos Teodosic,” said Doc Rivers.
With Teodosic selflessness leading the way, the Clippers passed a season-high 31 assists tonight. Austin Rivers dished out five. Both Jawun Evans and Sindarius Thornwell each tallied four.
2) Goon Squad run sparks victory —
Up 43-41 with 7 minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Clippers then ripped off a 37-14 stretch to end the half with an 18-point lead over the Kings. Initiating the run was the bench unit for the Clippers, with Montrezl Harrell leading while doing a little bit of everything: blocking shots at the rim, handling the ball on the break, and posting up in transition. Sam Dekker scored 8 points over the run, beating the Kings’ defense and outrunning them on the fastbreak. And when the substitutions came, the momentum carried over for the starters, leading to a 71-point first half, a season-high.
To end the night, Harrell finished with a season-high 22 points, his third career game scoring 20+ point. Lou Williams scored 21, and Sam Dekker added 10.
3) Clippers control paint—
The Clippers outrebounded the Kings by 13, they scored 58 points in the paint compared to the Kings’ 48, and they also went 9-of-11 on second chance opportunities, scoring 23 points against the Kings 8. Also, LA attacked the rim more, drawing 27 free throws while the Kings only shot 12. In virtually every statistical category regarding play near the rim, the Clippers bested the Kings.
The Clippers defensive anchor and primary rim protector secured his 20th double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds .
4) Wilson reaches career high in first quarter —
“Shoot it,” shouted the Clippers bench. The moment Jamil WIlson found himself alone with the ball, the bench urged the first year forward to put up a shot. Entrusted by his teammates, Wilson responded with a 14-point opening frame, quickly surpassing his career high. In his 10th career start, Wilson went 5-of-6 from the field, with four three-pointers, scoring nearly half of the team’s points for the first quarter.
By night’s end, Wilson finished with 17 points and five made three’s in 18 minutes.
5) Griffin near returning? —
During his pregame media availability, head coach Doc Rivers said Blake Griffin is “really close to a return” and could possibly play Friday against the Lakers. No official word has been released, but the team is optimistic about their star player returning to action sooner rather than later.
What’s Next? — The Clippers play Friday, December 29, in a Lakers home game at 7:30 pm PST.