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Lou Williams, Austin Rivers step up for undermanned LA Clippers

From NBA media reports

* Tonight on NBA TV: Kings vs. Clippers (10:30 ET)

The Los Angeles Clippers have have no choice but to turn to its bench during yet another tumultuous time, with injuries impacting the crew formerly known as Lob City. There’s no Chris Paul (he’s in Houston), no Blake Griffin (he’s injured, again) and nothing resembling the foundation of a team that rose to prominence in the Western Conference and the league with those two stars at the epicenter of the franchise.

The Clippers have a new dynamic duo these days, two guys few would have picked to lead the Clippers out of the malaise that was their 4-13 November and early December swoon that appeared to have derailed yet another promising start to a season. Austin Rivers and Lou Williams have done their best to ride to the rescue for the Clippers, who host the Sacramento Kings tonight (10:30 ET, NBA TV) at Staples Center, in a season that Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports, is not yet lost:

“Blake and Gallo were our two leading scorers before that, so when you’ve got 50-plus points off the floor, somebody has got to step in,” Williams said. “We understand.”

Williams is the Clippers’ sixth-man extraordinaire, a seemingly unflappable performer who has raised his game to the point of becoming the team’s second leading scorer (20.7 points per game).

Rivers, who also has recently raised his game as a starting guard, is third (16.2 points).

“We know going into every game it’s going to be up to us offensively,” Rivers said. “Lou looks at me right when the game starts and he says, ‘You start it off and when I come in the game we’ll just keep going.’ We’ll keep doing what we’re doing.”

The last two games showed how much Williams and Rivers are needed on the offensive end.

They combined for 74 of the Clippers’ 112 points against Memphis and 68 of L.A.’s 128 points against Houston.

“I don’t know how you would define challenge. I mean, we’re just doing it,” Williams said. “I’ve always gotten doubled. Coming off the bench, people try to eliminate bench scorers, so that’s been my experience for years now. You just find ways to beat it.”


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