Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: Blake Griffin nearly triple-doubled in this game, netting 21 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. Griffin also blocked two shots and had only two turnovers while playing a game-high 40 minutes. In a game where free throws mattered for the Clippers, Griffin made 8-of-9 from the charity stripe.
That was … appreciative: The Nuggets waited to rule out Ty Lawson, rested Danilo Gallinari, and started a strange new lineup: Erick Green, Randy Foye, Gary Harris, Wilson Chandler, Kenneth Faried. Chandler went to work and had his shot working, scoring a season-high 32 points while making 6-of-10 threes. Frankly, the Nuggets probably should have won this game. But the Clippers did what they do in “winning time” – they stuck to their offensive gameplan to crush an underwhelming opponent. The Clippers ended the game on a 20-7 run in the last 5:43.
X factor: Jamal Crawford is not ready for the playoffs. He has scored only 18 points on 24 shots in the three games since returning from his calf injury. But his one made field goal was a critical one, throwing in a bucket in the fourth quarter and converting the free throw after drawing the foul. Crawford’s only points of the game forced a Denver timeout with 2:56 left, after the Clippers trailed for almost all of the previous six minutes. Crawford wouldn’t shoot again, but the Clippers would never trail again either.
— Law Murray
Tweet(s) Of The Game
DeAndre Jordan needs just five rebounds to set the Clippers’ single-season rebounding record
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) April 14, 2015
Chris Paul’s a killer, man. Now a +18 in a 4-point game. If he’s not at least top-4 on your MVP ballot, you’re crazy.
— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) April 14, 2015
I love that 3 West playoff matchups hinge on whether the Nuggets can outscore the Clippers over the final 3 minutes.
— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) April 14, 2015
— The Beast 980 (@TheBeast980) April 14, 2015
Check Your Messages
Feed The Pig
Doc Rivers has a term called “feeding the pig.” It’s a term he’s used often to refer to the action of giving the ball to the hot hand, but it also refers to an action of empowering a player that is helping put your team in a position to win.
For the Nuggets tonight, that was Wilson Chandler. Working off of curls and set shots from beyond the arc, a steady dose of his scoring helped to tide over a Nuggets offense that, while not efficient outside of Chandler, was scrappy enough to dominate the offensive glass in addition to keeping their turnovers low in the first half.
But as the turnover advantage started to go away, so too did Denver’s willingness to pass the ball to Chandler, who didn’t take a shot in the closing minutes of the fourth. The Clippers ended on a 20-7 run.
Games like tonight go to show isn’t just about doing the right things to close games. A lot of times, it’s about the opponent not doing the things going right for them, too.
— Brandon Tomyoy