Five Takeaways: Clippers Fight Back in Second Half to Beat Magic
LOS ANGELES — The Clippers won their second straight game, behind a 25 point effort from Lou Williams, downing the Magic, 113-105.
Here are five quick takeaways from the Clippers win.
1) Williams sparks second half run —
The Clippers were facing their largest deficit of the game, but answered with a 23-10 run, eventually creating a 12-point lead from which they never looked back. Guard Lou Williams, the NBA’s leader in fourth quarter scoring, added 10 points in the final frame. He finished with 25 points and connected three times from beyond the arc. Forward Tobias Harris finished with 21 points, his fourth consecutive game scoring 20+ points, only the second time he’s accomplished that in his career.
2) The Milos effect—
Tired legs are a common ailment of team’s playing the second night of a back-to-back, which was the case tonight for the Clippers. But, the team was able to create more scoring opportunities in transition than usual, scoring 24 points on the fast break, way above their season average of 13.5.
Guard Milos Teodosic was a major influence on the Clippers pace, as the point guard attacked at every chance, tantalizing the crowd with the type of flashy passes that he is known for. Teodosic finished with 15 points and 7 assists, a team-high.
3) Magic blitz in the third —
Up one at halftime, Orlando made two quick baskets to begin the third quarter, forcing a displeased head coach Doc Rivers to call a timeout 34 seconds into the frame. The Orlando push continued over the next six minutes, eventually generating a 9-point lead, their largest of the night. However, the Clippers defense eventually tightened up, closing the Magic lead to two by the end of the quarter.
By night’s end, forward Jonathon Simmons scored a team-high 24 points. Center Nikola Vucevic tallied his 22nd double-double of the season, with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
4) More-janovic —
Much to the pleasure of the Clippers’ home crowd, center Boban Marjanovic has found a nice role coming off the bench. Even with his overwhelming size, the 7-foot-3 center has a soft touch and plenty of skill around the basket, with his first points coming on a strong pivot in the post and soft bankshot. He finished with 2 points and 3 rebounds, but his length at the rim forced Magic shooters to attempt their shots a few feet further from the hoop than they would have liked.
Marjanovic’s minutes occurred next to forward Montrezl Harrell, who had another terrific night, finishing with 13 points on 80-percent shooting.
5) Playoff update —
With two straight wins, the Clippers now sit in the eighth seed for the Western Conference playoff race. The Spurs sit a half game ahead of the Clippers, tied in the loss column but with one more win, and the Nuggets are a half game behind, with one more loss than the Clippers, but the same amount of wins. Looking forward, the Clippers visit Chicago before seeing eight straight opponents that are currently sitting in playoff positioning.
What’s Next? — The Clippers head to Chicago to play the Bulls on Tuesday, with tip-off at 5:00 PDT.