Five Takeaways: Clippers Take It To Pelicans, 133-105
LOS ANGELES – Chris Paul played historically well as the Clippers (17-7) got back to their early-season ways of flying by their opponent, taking it to the Pelicans (7-17) in the second half to snap a two-game losing skid.
Here are five quick takeaways from the Clippers’ 133-105 win.
1) Major absences – Blake Griffin missed the game with a sore right knee and Raymond Felton missed his second straight game for family reasons, but both are expected back Monday. The Pelicans’ losses were also significant, as Anthony Davis, Jrue Holliday and E’Twaun Moore all got the night off to rest. The Clippers brought Austin Rivers into the starting lineup with Griffin out.
2) Paul goes for 20-20 against former team – Chris Paul made it a long night for his former team. The Clippers’ point guard recorded his first career 20-point, 20-assist night, becoming the first player since 1983-84 to reach those marks without committing a turnover. Paul did much of his damage during a third quarter in which the Clippers turned a six-point halftime advantage into a comfortable double-digit lead, which they’d continue to expand on the rest of the way. Paul had 10 of the Clippers’ 11 third-quarter assists, and he finished the night with 20 points, 20 assists and five rebounds.
3) Rivers also goes off against old team before leaving – Another former New Orleans first-round pick, Austin Rivers also put together a strong performance in a rare start against his former team, going 6-for-9 from the floor and 4-for-6 from 3-point range for 18 points and four assists, but his night was cut short. Rivers took an inadvertent elbow to the face and later in the fourth quarter went back to the locker room to be evaluated. He didn’t return after heading off.
4) Jordan brings boost, gets to 6,000 – DeAndre Jordan gave Omer Asik all he could handle on the offensive glass, pulling down five offensive rebounds. By the end of the first quarter, Jordan surpassed the 6,000 career rebound mark. And when he wasn’t absorbing rebounds, Jordan was finishing alley-oops, turning passes into dunks and helping make sure the Clippers maintained a lead early in the game. More than anything, he was the one bringing energy. J.J. Redick said the Clippers needed to get back to enjoying the game and having fun, and with plenty of help from Jordan and Paul, they seemed to be doing that again Saturday night.
5) Speights, Crawford lead bench effort – The smiles were contagious, going from the starters to the bench, with Marreese Speights grinning and celebrating with DeAndre Jordan as he hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end a 37-point third quarter for the Clippers. Speights finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, while Jamal Crawford went 10-for-13 and led the Clippers with 22 points.
What’s Next? – The Clippers host the Trail Blazers on Monday before a three-game East Coast road trip.