Five Takeaways: Clippers Complete Season Sweep of Kings
LOS ANGELES — In a Saturday matinee, the Clippers (21-21) beat the Kings (13-29), 126-105, sweeping the season series between the team.
Quote of the Night
"What I am really impressed with is guys who have come back, like Blake Griffin or Milos Teodosic, they have bought into how we have to play well. They are giving the other guys room to still play the way they have been playing when they were out." - Doc Rivers
Here are five quick takeaways from the Clippers win.
1) Perfect game for Reed —
No DeAndre Jordan for the Clippers, who was ruled out with a sprained ankle. Willie Reed got the start in his place, and did his best Jordan impersonation early, challenging and blocking Willie Cauley-Stein above the rim, with STAPLES Center promptly giving the center a round of cheers and applause.
Reed almost reached a double-double by halftime, with 7 points and 7 rebounds, making all three of his shots from the field. As the game went on, Reed continued his perfection. He scored 14 points, making every shot he attempted tonight. Coupled with his scoring, Reed brought the same rebounding intensity usually carried by Jordan, securing a season-high 13 rebounds.
Off the bench, Montrezl Harrell contributed 11 points and 6 rebounds of his own following his 25-point effort the other night. Over the past three games, Harrell has scored 52 points, his most over a three game span this season.
2) Griffin takes control early —
The Clippers led by 13 after the first quarter, with Blake Griffin facilitating nearly everything for the team. Griffin totaled 5 points and 4 assists in 9 minutes and 33 seconds of play, doing a bit of everything — bringing the ball up and distributing like a point guard, shooting from three like a wing, and backing down big men.
Griffin ended the night one assist shy of a double-double, with 11 points and 9 assists, but because of the large margin of victory, was able to play only 29 minutes.
3) Attacking the rim yields more free throws —
Over the last 13games, the Clippers are averaging over 28 free-throw attempts per game as a team, which would be tops in the league if they sustained it over the course of the season. Tonight, the team shot a total of 26, making 22, a 9-percent improvement on their season rate. Lou Williams scored 8 of his 26 points at the line, converting 8-of-9. With another game of 20+ points, Williams extends his scoring streak to 12 straight games of over 20 points, the second longest active streak in the NBA behind reigning MVP Russell Westbrook, who is at 15 straight 20+ point games.
4) Team effort —
Eight players scored in double figures tonight for the Clippers, the most so far on the season, with every starter reaching the benchmark. In his third game up from the Agua Caliente Clippers, Tyrone Wallace played another great game, compiling 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Milos Teodosic added 11 points in his most efficient game of the season. Sam Dekker scored his season-high with 13 points. Jawun Evans added 7 points and 7 assists.
5) Clippers sweep the season series —
For the second consecutive game, the Kings lost to the Clippers. This was the fourth time the teams have played this season, with L.A. winning every time. Zach Randolph averages 15 points per game on the season, but was limited to 8 points on 30-percent shooting tonight. Willie Cauley-Stein posted a 18-point, 13-rebound double-double, leading the Kings in both categories. De’Aaron Fox scored 15, but on 5-of-15 shooting.
For the first time in two seasons, the Clippers swept a four-game sweep of an opponent. The win pushes the Clippers to a 10-2 overall record in their division, tops in the NBA.
What’s Next? — The Clippers play Monday night against Chris Paul and the Houston Rockets at 7:30 PST.