Five Takeaways: Clippers complete 21-point comeback to beat Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS — The Clippers (25-24) completed their largest road comeback since 2004, overcoming a 21-point deficit to beat the Pelicans (27-22), 112-103.
Here are five quick takeaways from the Clippers’ win.
Quote of the Night:
“Before the game, every team is saying stop Lou and stop Blake. But when Ty scores, when Milos scores, it makes us that much harder to guard.” — Doc Rivers
1) Griffin seals game —
Milos Teodosic swung a pass to Blake Griffin on the wing. Griffin dribbled it once, forcing the defender, Darius Miller, to take a step back. That was all the space Griffin needed. He rose up for a three, hitting nothing but net. With only 40 seconds, the clutch shot doubled the Clippers lead from three to six, essentially icing the game. Griffin is 4-6 from three-point range this season when the game is within four points under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Griffin was incredible in the second half, securing a double-double in the half with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Lou Williams added 15 points of his own in the second half. For the game, Griffin finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists, while Williams ended with 22 points, extending his 20+ point streak off the bench to 12 games, the longest streak since 1977.
2) Clippers flip switch —
The Clippers were down 21 in the second quarter. The offense was flat and the Pelicans scored from anywhere they wanted on the court. Then, Lou Williams connected on a three-pointer, before Blake Griffin worked his way to the free throw line. After that, DeAndre Jordan scored on a monstrous dunk. And even though the Pelicans still led by 14, the Clippers seized the momentum, and continued to play with that same energy and focus until the end of the third quarter, going on a 45-21 run to take the lead entering the fourth quarter. With the win, the Clippers completed their largest comeback since 2016 and their eighth regular season comeback from down 20+ in team history.
3) Wallace bounces back —
Tyrone Wallace scored a career-low four points in the Friday’s game against the Grizzlies, but rebounded with an 11-point first quarter, a career best. The rookie guard scored all his points in the paint, finishing over and around defenders using his length and craftiness.
Wallace finished 19 points, his second highest output of the season. His starting backcourt mate, Milos Teodosic, complimented the interior attack of Wallace by scoring all of his buckets on the perimeter, ending the night with 12 points, including two three-pointers.
4) Boogie-less nights —
The Pelicans were winning. They had won eight of their last 10 games, had climbed to sixth in the Western Conference standings, looking to reach an even higher seed. However, the injury bug threatens their prospects. One of their two All-Star big men, DeMarcus Cousins, suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon on Friday, rendering him out for the remainder of the season.
Dante Cunningham replaced Cousins in the starting lineup, shifting Anthony Davis to the center position. Cunningham played well above his season averages, compiling 8 points and 7 rebounds. Davis, the Pelicans other All-Star, was quiet for the first half, playing within the flow of the game and scoring only 6 points and grabbing 3 rebounds. However, he came alive in the second half, carrying the Pelicans. Davis finished with 25 points, 17 rebounds and 6 assists.
However, without Cousins to matchup against, DeAndre Jordan commanded the paint, with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting and 19 rebounds.
5) Pelicans stroke from deep early —
The Pelicans are one of the top three-point shooting teams in the NBA, but they started the game out better than usual. Rajon Rondo made two triples, and in total, six Pelicans knocked down a shot from behind the arc in the first half, as the team shot 43-percent from range.
On the other side, the Clippers were only 4-of-16 in the first half, but the script flipped in the second half, as they connected on 5-of-12 attempts from deep. L.A.’s defense locked down New Orleans after half, limiting the Pelicans to 2-of-19 shooting from three the rest of the way. Griffin led the Clippers with a career-high tying 4 three-pointers.
What’s Next? — The Clippers head home to play the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday at 7:30 PST.