Back away from the fire alarm — the Clippers took care of business in this one, 97-85. Here’s the Lob City Ledger over at ESPNLA.com, courtesy of Mr. Jovan Buha.
No, Jason Smith didn’t play, but Blake Griffin was motivated nonetheless. Keeping with his recent trend, he planted himself around the rim and punished the undersized Hornets’ front court. There’s always room for improvement, and Griffin’s free-throw shooting and rebounding left much to be desired. He got his physical redemption with a hard foul (flagrant 1) on Trevor Ariza in the third.
When you’re going up against Jarret Jack and Grieves Vasquez, you should dominate the matchup — and that’s exactly what Chris Paul did. The catalyst behind the Clippers’ dynamic transition offense (at least for Monday night) was in full smiles as he led L.A.’s aerial assault on Paul’s former ball club. Revenge is a dish best served by CP3.
DeAnde Jordan had turned into Where’s Waldo recently and gone missing — until he returned to normalcy on Monday night. Granted, the Hornets are severely undersized, but he still took advantage and pulverized them inside early. His numbers were mundane — and Nick Young may have even had a better game — but Jordan deserves praise for his motivated performance.
For the second game in a row, the Clippers put together an end-to-end defensive masterpiece. By playing the passing lanes, blitzing the Hornets’ guards and applying ample perimeter pressure, they forced New Orleans into nearly 30 turnovers. The only blemish was the Hornets making nearly half of their shots, an inconsequential statistic when compounded with their other offensive deficiencies.
The Hornets couldn’t replicate the same success they had in New Orleans, but give them credit. Their starting lineup could be confused for a D-League team, so it was impressive to see them hang with the Clippers for some of the first half (and lessen the gap late in the game). Then regression to the mean occurred, and the Clippers’ superior talent ran the Hornets out of Staples Center.