Five Takeaways: Clippers Extend Winning Streak to 4 After Beating Grizzlies
LOS ANGELES — The Clippers followed the lead of Lou Williams once again on Tuesday night, as Williams poured in 33 points and the Clippers defeated the Grizzlies, 113-106.
Here are five quick takeaways from the Clippers win
Quote of the Night: "Lou Williams is good every night just the way he plays, and C.J Williams was phenomenal tonight. Every night you don’t know who it’s going to be on our team.” - Doc Rivers
1) Player of the Week keeps rolling—
Earlier this morning, the NBA announced Lou Williams as the Western Conference Player of the Week from Dec. 25 - Dec. 31. The guard won his second Player of the Week award of his career, leading the Clippers to a 3-0 record behind averages of 28.0 points and 4.7 assists and shooting splits of 50% from the field, 48% from three-point range and 87% from the free-throw line in 31.4 minutes.
Tonight, Williams climbed up the ladder in NBA history with his 8th game with 30+ off the bench this season, tying Thurl Bailey (1987-88) and Nate Robinson (2008-09)for the second-most in a single season. Ricky Pierce (1989-90) has the record with 17.
Following his 40-point game on Sunday, Williams ended the night with just 33 points, while making all 15 of his free throw attempts. Late in the game, it was the two-man game between Williams and Blake Griffin that head coach Doc Rivers trusted, showing how important the Clippers sixth man has become.
2) Griffin and Jordan fly high —
With 2:30 left in first quarter, Blake Griffin caught a pass from Milos Teodosic on the baseline, gathered with two steps, then dunked through Deyonta Davis — and-1. The dunk quickly made rounds on social media, and whatever remaining doubts about Griffin’s health that existed immediately dissipated.Griffin started the game strong for the Clippers, with 9 points and 4 assists, knocking down jumpers and converting a few and-1s, helping the Clippers to a three point lead after the opening frame. By the end of the night, Griffin finished with 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists, the second most he’s had in a game this season.
His partner in the post, DeAndre Jordan, frequently flew above the rim tonight, ending the game with four dunks. The Clippers’ guards did a good job finding the center when his defender rotated over to help, leaving him open near the rim. Jordan ended the game with 12 points and 9 rebounds.
3) Grizzlies play Clippers tough, per usual —
The Grizzlies have won 12 games this season, second worst in the Western Conference, yet in three matchups between the two teams, each game has been a close, back-and-forth affair, with Memphis winning the first two. Tonight, it was Tyreke Evans leading the Grizzly attack, with a well-rounded offensive performance, scoring 18 points, grabbing 5 rebounds, and dishing 6 assists.
3) Late third quarter run swings game —
Things were not going for well for the Clippers in the early parts of the third quarter. On defense, they struggled to grab the rebound, allowing 6 offensive rebounds. The team was careless on offense, turning the ball over 8 times. Then, LA proceeded to go on a 15-0 run from 3:51 remaining in the third to 9:27 in the fourth, flipping a 7-point deficit into an 8-point lead. Essential to the run was Sam Dekker, attacking the basket off the dribble. Dekker ended the night with 6 points, and Jawun Evans and Willie Reed each added 4 of their own during the run.
5) The other Williams matches career high in first quarter —
The second most famous Williams on the Clippers roster, C.J., matched his career-high with 12 points in the first quarter alone. The two-way player concluded the game with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 3 three-pointers.
What’s Next? — The Clippers look for revenge Thursday against the Oklahoma City Thunder at 7:30 PST in their second matchup of the season. In their first tilt, the Thunder won, 120-111.