Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: The outstretched arms of one DeAndre Jordan proved to be a problem on both ends of the court for the Denver Nuggets this afternoon, with the Clippers center sending the ball through the rim on the offensive end and sending the ball towards the stands on the defensive end. He would finish with 16 points, 16 rebounds and 6 blocks, with his production especially impactful in an early 3rd quarter stretch where he blocked 4 shots and scored 4 points in a span of just over 2 minutes.
That was … active hands: The Clippers were aggressive in tracking the ball this afternoon, denying passing lanes, intercepting the ball, and protecting the rim. As a result, the team would amass 13 steals and 11 blocks for only their second game this season in which they would tally over 10 or more in the two respective categories, and the first time this season in a win.
X factor: The offensive contributions of the Clippers today were split well between their first and second units, with six players in double figures despite no individual player scoring 20 points or more. This was the first time since January 13th against the Miami Heat that the Clippers have won a game where they had no individual player from the starters or the bench reach the 20 point mark or higher.
— Brandon Tomyoy
Tweet(s) Of The Game
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) March 27, 2016
DeAndre Jordan turns defense into instant offense vs Nuggets https://t.co/fEEepeH2vK
— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) March 27, 2016
14 straight games of double-figures scoring for DeAndre Jordan (16/16, 6 blocks)#DENvsLAC
— Law Murray (@LawMurrayTheNU) March 27, 2016
— Isaac Lowenkron (@isaaclowenkron) March 27, 2016
Check Your Messages
As the final minute of the Clippers’ decisive victory over the Denver Nuggets wound down, I found myself hoping, wishing, praying that a sideline reporter would detain DeAndre Jordan for a post game interview. This was accompanied by a kind of wistful longing, that one could only be a fly on the wall for the Ship Gang post-win tradition of “last player into the locker room dances”. Because then, DJ would be forced to dance, on an afternoon when the step in question was already decided. After all, with 6 blocks in just 29 minutes, how could DJ perform anything other than the Milly Rock (…on any block… geddit? geddit?)?
Sorry, I’m a little delirious after so many games, and giddy from the news that the big guy will finally be joined by his fellow frontcourt monster in just a pair of weeks. The Clippers will be at full strength for the first time in 3 full months. I can finally write a thing that doesn’t have to
come with the “when Griffin comes back caveat”. You can bet I’ll be dancing in celebration, along with the rest of Clipper Nation. What dance should we do, gang?
Easter’s contest against the Nuggets started a stretch of four games in five days for the Clippers. Each of the four opponents (Denver, Boston, Minnesota, Oklahoma City) defeated the Clippers in the most recent matchup.
For the Nuggets, their key to victory last month was atrocious shooting and ball-handling by L.A. Denver only scored 87 points at STAPLES Center vs. the Clippers in February, but the Nuggets benefitted from 33 missed threes and 17 turnovers by the Clippers in an 87-81 win. Denver also got 21 points and 11 rebounds in just under 23 minutes from PF Kenneth Faried.
The first sign that things would be different today was Denver’s insistence in keeping Faried out (probable, back). Denver head coach Mike Malone said that Faried was a game-time decision, and Faried was dressed and warming up pregame. Faried never got out of those warmups this afternoon.
The second trend was three-point shooting. For that, let’s focus on the Nuggets instead of the Clippers. Denver made 6 of 11 three-pointers in the first quarter to keep things close. But they didn’t make another three-pointer in this game until SG Will Barton made one with 1:17 left to play. In between, Denver missed 17 threes in a row.
Finally, let’s talk about free throws. Because L.A. shot so many threes last month against the Nuggets, they only made eight FTs in the February loss. Tonight, SG Jamal Crawford made eight FTs by himself tonight. A lot of best-case scenarios came through against the Nuggets on a day that the final countdown for Blake Griffin commenced.