Five Takeaways: Clippers Beat Magic 105-96 For Fifth Straight Win
LOS ANGELES – The Clippers (27-14) earned their fifth straight win to start 2017, separating themselves in the fourth quarter Wednesday night against the Magic (16-24) in a game that included 12 lead changes.
Here are five quick takeaways from the Clippers’ 105-96 win.
1) Redick has team high and more – The first time these teams played this year, it was Orlando native Austin Rivers sending the Clippers past the Magic tying a career-high with seven 3-pointers. This time, it was another Clippers player with an Orlando history, as J.J. Redick – who was drafted by the Magic and spent his first six-plus seasons playing for the team – posted a team-high 22 points to go with six rebounds and five assists.
It was Redick’s first 20-point, five-rebound, five-assist game since March 2015 and the fifth of his career. A late Redick 3-pointer put the Clippers ahead 98-92, and another Redick bucket with 1:19 left further separated the Clippers, who went ahead, 100-94. That set up a Chris Paul 3-pointer, which put the game away with 49 seconds left.
2) Buckets Burst – Marreese Speights hadn’t taken a shot and didn’t have any points heading to the fourth quarter, but “Mo Buckets” provided all the momentum the Clippers would need from that point on, scoring 13 points in the fourth quarter alone on 5-for-6 shooting and a 3-for-4 mark from 3-point range. He made a quick impact, posting seven points in the first four minutes of the quarter and 10 points in the first six minutes, ensuring the two-point deficit the Clippers had entering the quarter would vanish abruptly.
3) Jordan on the glass – It makes sense that Kevin Garnett’s been helping Jordan out at recent Clippers practices. Wednesday night, Jordan tied Kevin Garnett for the ninth-most 20-plus rebound games in the NBA since 1983-84, finishing with 10 points, 20 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. It was Jordan’s 36th career 20-plus rebound game and his sixth of the season, which leads the NBA. Three of Jordan’s 20-rebound games have come since the start of January, and four have occurred in his last eight games.
4) Gordon a problem again – The Clippers once again went with a three-guard lineup, putting Rivers back with the starters after a one-game absence from flu-like symptoms. The first time these teams played earlier this year, 6-9 Magic wing Aaron Gordon took advantage of his size against the Clippers’ smaller lineup, posting a career-high 33 points. This time, he was once again matched up against smaller guards, which led to him scoring 16 points in the first quarter on his way to a game-high 28 points.
5) Turnovers keep Magic around – The Clippers shot 51.3 percent from the floor, but the Magic stuck around all game by forcing the Clippers into mistakes. The Clippers found a way to win despite a season-high 21 turnovers, marking just the fourth time this year they’ve committed at least 20 turnovers in a game, including five apiece from Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford. Despite his 18 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals, it was the turnovers that bothered Paul afterward. “It sucks being human,” Paul said when asked about them. “Like I say, I can’t stand them.”
What’s Next? – The Clippers host the Lakers on Saturday afternoon.