Five Takeaways: Third Quarter Ruins Clippers In Christmas Loss To Lakers
LOS ANGELES – The Clippers’ (22-10) 11-game winning streak against the Lakers (12-22) came to an end Sunday night, as a Christmas matchup didn’t go the way they wanted in the second half, losing another player to injury in the process.
Here are five quick takeaways from the Clippers’ 111-102 loss.
1) Paul sits again after warming up – Chris Paul warmed up Sunday, going through some pregame workouts, and before the game, head coach Doc Rivers said Paul was going to play after going through 1-on-1 drills and a workout Saturday. But there was a change before the game, as Paul didn’t feel quite right yet before taking on the Lakers. Raymond Felton earned another start at point guard, finishing with eight points, 10 rebounds and six assists while playing a team-high 38 minutes.
2) Third quarter to forget – An 11-point first-half Clippers lead was down to three by halftime. And less than a minute into the third quarter, it was gone entirely. The Lakers outscored the Clippers 34-16 in the third, with offensive rebounds hurting the Clippers at one end and missed jumpers dooming them at the other. The Clippers didn’t get their first points of the quarter until an Austin Rivers basket at the 7:56 mark, and from there, they had to play in catch-up mode the rest of the way.
3) Redick leads offense before injury – Between Paul and J.J. Redick, the Clippers only have two healthy hamstrings. As if being without Paul (left hamstring strain) and Blake Griffin (knee procedure) weren’t enough, the Clippers added Redick to the growing list of injuries, as he left the game in the second half with a sore left hamstring. Redick still tied for the team lead with 22 points, and the Clippers were hurting without his offense down the stretch as they tried to mount a comeback.
4) Jordan dishes out career high – Before the game, Lakers head coach Luke Walton complimented DeAndre Jordan for his athleticism and ability to make teams pay for missing defensive rotations. His passing, however, was not on that list of compliments. But by halftime, Jordan already had compiled a regular season career-high five assists, and by game’s end he had a career-high six assists to go with seven points and 10 rebounds.
5) Too many chances – The Lakers got second chances far too often during their third-quarter run, pulling down seven of their 13 total offensive rebounds in the quarter. That led to 21 second-chance points, and with the Lakers already scoring 11 more points off turnovers than the Clippers, giving extra opportunities proved too costly.
What’s Next? – The Clippers play the second game of a back-to-back Monday against the Nuggets.