The LA Clippers entered Sunday’s game at Indiana coming off a road loss at Detroit on Friday night, their worst performance of the season. The team practiced Saturday, but instead of bouncing back against the Pacers, the Clippers doubled down with an even worse performance.
Indiana C Myles Turner had a game-high 17 points and team-high 12 rebounds while Indiana SF Glenn Robinson III pitched in with 17 points while starting in place of the injured Paul George, and the Pacers held the Clippers to a season-low in points in a 91-70 win.
The Clippers never led after the 1st quarter, marking the first time in 18 games this season that the Clippers didn’t hold a lead at some point in the 4th quarter.
Indiana held the Clippers to 70 points on 31-of-70 shots (31.4 percent) – the lowest FG percentage by the Clippers since February 2008, the worst in the Doc Rivers era, and the 4th-lowest by a team this season. The Clippers made only 4-of-24 threes (16.7 percent), also a season-low mark and T-2nd worst mark in the Doc Rivers era. LA missed all 11 three-point attempts in the 2nd half.
Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, and Blake Griffin combined to shoot only 10-of-33 from the field (30.3 percent), including only 1-of-12 from three (8.3 percent). Griffin played with a black sleeve on his right knee, Redick scored a season-low 5 points despite keeping his three-point streak alive at 74 games, and Paul missed all six threes and had 4 1st quarter turnovers.
The Clippers are in Indiana tonight – they're 2-0 coming off losses this season and won't see Paul George (ankle). What is key to game:
— ClipperBlog (@clipperblog) November 27, 2016
“It was all bad,” Paul said after the game. “We shot bad, we defended bad, I think I had four turnovers in the first quarter alone and we had 20 for the game. But don’t take anything away from Indiana because they beat us. We have to sweep it under the rug. We have to fix it and stop the bleeding at some point. That is the good thing about being a veteran team, as a group we’ll look at film and we’ll know what we need to do to get better and then we’ll do it.”
As bad as the starters were tonight in 12 minutes (-21.0 net rating), the bench was even worse, compiling an offensive efficiency rating of 55.3 and a net rating of -36.4 in 10 minutes. The lineup of Raymond Felton-Austin Rivers-Jamal Crawford-Wesley Johnson-Marreese Speights scored only 11 points on 4-of-16 FGs together, and for the game, the entire Clippers bench was outscored 28-23 by two Indiana bench players: SG Rodney Stuckey (12 points) and C Al Jefferson (16 points).
“You gotta flush this one; but you can’t completely flush it because you have to learn from it, then you can flush it,” Crawford said after the game. “We had no zip as a group, which is unusual because usually that happens with one or the other (starters or bench), not that we are separate or anything. It’s definitely disappointing but it is part of the journey. It happens. For us, it starts with our defense. We’ve got a good offense, and scoring 70 points tonight is not anything to be concerned about. I’d be more concerned if we gave up 130.”
Again – the Clippers didn’t see Paul George in this game. He is expected to be healthy in time to face the Clippers at STAPLES Center next Sunday. For now, the Clippers will have to focus on breaking their first losing streak of the season as they head to Brooklyn. They beat the Nets by 32 points on November 14, but they didn’t see C Brook Lopez that night. And after a second straight game where they were outshot, outrebounded, and had more turnovers than a seemingly lesser opponent, past performances are not something the Clippers can hang their hat onto going into a game.