Five Takeaways: Clippers vs Pacers

by Caden Kinard

INDIANAPOLIS –

Down 18 on the road, the Clippers (38-34) fought back to eventually take a late fourth quarter lead, but fell to the Indiana Pacers (42-31), 109-104.

Here are five takeaways from the Clippers’ loss.

1) Clippers claw back, but can’t finish –

With 6:20 remaining in the third quarter, the Clippers found themselves down 18, as the Bankers Life Fieldhouse rallied around the home team. But after a 31-12 run, the Clippers found themselves leading, this time with a much quieter crowd. Then over the course of the next seven minutes, the two teams fought and exchanged buckets, playing a tight game until the final minutes. With a little over a minute remaining, it was former Clipper Darren Collison that hit a step back jumper to take the lead. To end, the Clippers turned it over three straight possessions, killing any chance of coming back.

Collison, the unlikely hero, tallied his sixth double-double of the year, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

2) Jordan tops the league –

The Clippers have started the most of their games well, and when they do, it has a lot to do with the activity of their center, DeAndre Jordan. He had 8 points and 5 rebounds in the opening quarter. On the season, he’s averaged 5.3 rebounds in the first quarter, the highest single-season mark since quarterly rebounding stats were made public in 2002. Even though his rebounding pace slowed, finishing with 11 rebounds, his scoring was perfect, finishing with 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting, raising his shooting percentage to 65.4, a league best over Clint Capela. If Jordan continues his pace for the rest of the season, it would be the sixth time he would finish the season on top in the category.

3) Oladipo struggles early, Bogdanovic finishes –

The last time the Pacers took the court, Victor Oladipo suffered a poke to his eye, causing quite a bit of swelling. Although the swelling was down tonight, it was not completely gone, and the symptoms likely had a large influence on the guard’s 0-for-6 first half. His poor shooting continued in the second half, finishing 4-of-16 with 18 points. However, when the Pacers made their third quarter run, Oladipo catalyzed it with multiple three pointers.

Picking up the slack for the Pacers was forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who scored a team-high 28 points, one point short of his season-high. Former Clipper Lance Stephenson added 13 of his own points

4) Top two of Clippers bench having historic seasons –

The Clippers have succeeded this season, despite an enormous amount of injuries to key players, much in thanks to the deep bench, with Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell leading the way. No player in league history since the merger of the NBA and ABA has been as productive in such little time as Harrell. In only 16 minutes per game, Harrell’s averaged 10.5 points per game. And tonight, he again produced a large yield in a short time, scoring 16 points in 18 minutes on 7-of-8 shooting.

As for Williams, he recorded a team-high in scoring with 27 points, and a team-high in assists, with 10. As of now, Williams leads the Clippers in both scoring and assists. If he ended the season on top of both categories, he’d be the first player to start less than a third of the team’s games but lead in both categories.

5) Offensive rebounds ruin Clipper chances –

The Clippers trailed by two with 30 seconds remaining when Darren Collison rose up for a 20-foot jumper. The shot fell short, but there to gather the rebound was Thaddeus Young, who secured the ball and laid it in, supplying the Pacers with an insurmountable lead as the clock dwindled. It was the team’s 14th offensive rebound and their 13th point off those opportunities. The Pacers’ second chances drastically outnumbered the Clippers, whom only had 6 offensive rebounds.

What’s Next? –

The Clippers travel to Toronto for the final game of their roadtrip. Tip-off is Sunday at 3:00 PDT.

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