Five Takeaways- Clippers lose their fourth straight, fall to Wolves
MINNESOTA – Karl-Anthony Towns scored 30, Andrew Wiggins addedd 27, and the Timberwolves cruise in the second half, beating the Clippers, 123-109.
Here are five quick takeaways from the Clippers’ loss.
1) Third quarter dooms Clippers –
One point separated the Clippers and Timberwolves at halftime, with Minnesota leading. But to start the third quarter, the Clippers missed their first nine shots, a drought that lasted for the first five minutes of the second half, as the Clippers fell behind 13 points. The Clippers answered with a 7-0 run, but then the Wolves quickly scored five straight. By the end of the quarter, Minnesota was up 95-83, with the Clippers unable to rally.
2) Jordan controls the paint early–
As the Clippers fought in the first half, exchanging leads with the Timberwolves, it was DeAndre Jordan commanding the Clippers’ offense. The center scored in a variety of ways, rolling to the basket, scoring above the rim catching lobs and using his growing post-move arsenal. By the end of the first half, Jordan totaled 16 points on 80 percent shooting. However, Minnesota adjusted after halftime, with Jordan only scoring two points in the final two frames. Coupled with his 18 points, Jordan added a team-high 12 rebounds.
The Clippers’ offense struggled on the night, as their injury depleted roster faced another problem with Tobias Harris fighting flu-like symptoms, but fighting through. Harris scored 10 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.
3) Kilpatrick sees extended time –
On his second 10-day contract, Sean Kilpatrick had his finest game in a Clipper uniform yet. In the first quarter alone, he scored more points than the past five games combined, knocking down two three-pointers and scoring 6 points. As the game progressed, his jumper continued to work, ending the game with 15 points and three three-pointers. Kilpatrick played 20 minutes,seeing time ahead of Jawun Evans in the rotation off the bench.
Lou Williams remained in his usual sixth man role, scoring 15 points, and shooting a flawless 7-of-7 from the free-throw line, while also leading the team with 5 assists.
4) Crawford and Rose lead Wolves bench –
On his 38th birthday, former Clipper Jamal Crawford flashed some of the brilliance that won him two of his Sixth Man of the Year Awards in LA. The Clippers were up six when the Timberwolves began a 11-1 run, led by Crawford. The guard shot perfectly from the field, going 5-of-5, with most of the attempts coming from outside the paint. He scored 11 points in the first half, more than his season per-game average. Also providing difficulty for the Clippers was Derrick Rose, whose speed sped up an already fast-paced Minnesota offense. Rose added 9 of his own in the first half, but left in the second half with an ankle injury.
5) Playoff check in –
With the Clippers losing their fourth straight, they now sit in the 10th seed, three games back of the eighth seed. Sitting at ninth is the Denver Nuggets, a half-game ahead of the Clippers. Out of all the teams within range of making it to the playoffs, the Clippers have the most games remaining.
What’s Next? – The Clippers head to Milwaukee on Wednesday for the second game of a back-to-back, tipping off at 5:00 p.m. PDT.