Let’s call it like it is: the Clippers took care of business against an inferior team. The Lakers have a brand and faces that suggest intimidation, but to the Clippers, they’re just another lottery bound team that needed to be disposed of as early as possible. And yikes, did they ever dispose of them. A blazing start by Blake Griffin and incendiary three-point shooting in the third quarter put this one out of reach quickly and the Clippers look forward to a week off riding a 4-game win streak and, more importantly, a week to continue getting healthy and building chemistry.
|Los Angeles Clippers||125||
Recap | Box score
|101||Los Angeles Lakers|
MVP: Blake Griffin set the tone early as the Clippers raced out to a quick 15-0 lead. Griffin was 9-of-10 shooting for 18 points in the first quarter and singlehandedly outscored the Lakers, 18-17. Even as the game briefly tightened, Griffin’s message was already sent: He can do whatever he wants.
X factor: Table of three for Chauncey Billups. Mr. Big Shot accepts the award on behalf of the Clippers’ blistering 3-ball Thursday night, 53.3 percent on 16-of-30 shooting. Billups himself unleashed a hailstorm of 3-pointers, going 5-for-7 en route to 21 points in a meager 16 minutes.
That was…the new normal: The Clippers jumped all over the Lakers at the start of both halves, hitting 101 points and breaking Lawler’s Law in three quarters and putting the game away well before the waning moments. At least for this season, the Clippers are rising with the tide while the Lakers struggle to stay afloat.
– Andrew Han
Tweet of the Game
Clippers had 46 points after 1Q last night. 101 points after 3Q tonight. Sheesh.
— J.A. Adande (@jadande) February 15, 2013
Eric Bledsoe Per36 Stat o’ The Night
ClipperBlogLive’s Best Moment
After discussions about the game and playoff threats, it gets eccentric: a Sean Highkin doppelgänger? NBA players as rappers? It gets out of control fast.
Check Your Messages
The Big Shot Upgrade
Seeing Willie Green out there with the third unit really helped put into perspective the Billups upgrade. It’s not like Willie Green ever did anything wrong (“Willie Green, consumate professional”), but he just wasn’t a value-adding presence.
Chauncey, on the other hand, has an acute awareness of when a defense overloads and a patient confidence that Chris Paul will find him if he remains in an unoccupied region of the court. Further, he’s license to draw a foul at any moment as well as a superior three point shooter. He shot 4-7 from three tonight, making him 9-14 from range over the last two games.
As a testament to the strength of his left leg, Chauncey’s defense is nothing to kvetch about. While he got his fair share of bullying on the inside from an aggressive Kobe Bryant, Billups held his own as a help defender and was rarely out of position. With Billups, a legitimate two-way threat, back in the lineup, the Clippers look like a serious title contender for the first time since the otherworldly 17-game win streak.
- Michael Shagrin
Balance and options
It’s no secret the Clippers are probably the deepest team in the league, but when they are fully healthy, as they are right now, it’s hard to contain all the options the Clippers have at their disposal. Every quarter with the Clippers is a chance to shine the spotlight on another player. The first quarter was Griffin, the second quarter was Billups, the third quarter was Paul and the fourth was Jamal Crawford. On Thursday, the Clippers had six players score in double figures, with the backcourt of Paul and Billups combing for 45 points and 16 assists.
- Arash Markazi, for ESPN LA
The times, they are a changin’
Remember all the concerns about rebounding early in the season? “The defense is so much improved! But why has the rebounding fallen off again?? Where’s Reggie Evans?? REGGIE!”
The Clippers have crept up to 7th in rebounding rate on the season. Just another concern Los Angeles has quietly fixed on their route to the postseason.
- Andrew Han