We did it, folks. For the first time since its inception, the “Eric Bledsoe Per36 Stat ‘o the Night” had to be adjusted down because he played more than 36 minutes. I know Charlie Widdoes is looking down from Brooklyn and smiling. Bledsoe aside, no Chris Paul? Still no problem. The Clippers ace the defensive juggernaut/offensive powerhouse back-to-back test and cruise to an easy Last Call:
Recap | Box score
MVP: Eric Bledsoe. In his second straight start, Bledsoe was the wrench in the Rockets’ plans, making huge plays with his freakish athleticism to win multiple possessions that should have belonged to Houston.
X-Factor: Jamal Crawford’s fourth quarter. Is there a streakier shooter in the league? Crawford torched Jeremy Lin on five straight possessions, tallying 15 of his season-high 30 points in the final frame.
Well that was…eye opening: The Rockets played well enough offensively, but James Harden and Jeremy Lin looked like matadors defensively, allowing the Clippers’ backcourt players to hit them for 64 combined points.
Tweet of the Game
Why I say CP3 is top CEO, not MVP RT @aaronsauceda CP3 get penalized in MVP voting after Clips thriving in last 2 games without him?
— J.A. Adande (@jadande) January 16, 2013
Eric Bledsoe Per36 Stat o’ The Night
Sky Griffin in Flight *PEW* Afternoon Delight
ClipperBlogLive’s Best Moment
Beverly Hills 90210, Keith Van Horn vs. Rik Smits, the persistence of the “compliment sandwich.” Lots of off-kilter things on tonight’s ClipperBlog Live.
Check Your Messages
Missing: Old Mascot
Do any of you long time Clippers fans remember a mascot the team used to have? Like an old drunken pirate? Might have answered to the name “Sam”? Better yet, do you guys have a picture? Please respond.
– D.J. Foster
UPDATE: Thanks to @clipper24optik who found the missing mascot! (h/t to @dingyu and @LADesignGuy for remembering his name “Sam Dunk”)(second tip o’ the hat to @LADesignGuy for providing a full picture!)
Blake Griffin’s Vision Quest
When Lamar Odom returned to the Clippers, there was little of the physical ability that propelled him to Sixth Man of the Year during his previous stint in Los Angeles. But even before he worked his way into shape, Odom maintained his three-dimensional court vision as well as the ability to execute his patented skip passes.
As Blake Griffin’s game has matured, he’s developed a similar use of his altitude to see the great plains stretching out above the action on the court. Over the last three games, his passing out of the post has resulted in frequent open opportunities for the Clippers from beyond the arc. During that span, Griffin’s dished out twenty assists, twelve of them leading to threes. Matt Barnes has proved to be his favorite target, converting six times from range over the last three games and three times tonight.
The Clippers are creating a player-centric culture where veterans are empowered to pass along their distilled knowledge of the game to the younger generation. Starting with DeAndre Jordan’s apprenticeship under Marcus Camby, then Eric Bledsoe’s post-graduate degree from Paul/Billups University, and now a refined Griffin cherry picking from Odom–it goes to show we should continue to expect new tricks thanks to the old dogs.
– Michael Shagrin
Caron Butler Playing More Like CaRonny Turiaf
Wow. Caron Butler only took one shot tonight. How did that happen?
– Fred Katz
Guys, I think we’ll be okay
One of the things we’ve talked about as the season progressed was how #ATribeCalledBench struggled to execute offense in the halfcourt. Their domain was causing havoc on defense and running out on turnovers. That, or hitting the Jamal Crawford safety valve.
But during the fourth quarter tonight, a unit of Crawford-Barnes-Hill-Odom-Turiaf had a curious wrinkle: Grant Hill brought the ball up and Lamar Odom initiated the offense from the elbow. It’s just another evolution of the Clippers as the team continues to find its groove.
– Andrew Han