If Wednesday’s double-digit loss to the Houston Rockets was the formula for all that has gone wrong with the Los Angeles Clippers in the past week, it sure seemed as if they saved some of it for Friday’s contest against the Milwaukee Bucks. The team never appeared to get in a rhythm against the length of Milwaukee’s defense, and the turnovers continually piled up, amounting in a season-high 16 giveaways in the first half alone. Just how much the team struggled may have been missed by many a local viewer due to an erroneous cable blackout of the first two quarters. It was almost as if the basketball gods were keeping a Los Angeles audience in seeing just how bad things were going for the start of this two-game road trip.
— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) March 4, 2017
Just how bad was the sloppiness on the offensive end? The 23 turnovers were a season-high for LA, and the 41 points off turnovers that the Bucks scored weren’t only the most the Clippers have given up this season, but the most in the colorful history of the franchise.
X-Factor: Between all the live-ball turnovers and the porous defense offered against the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo absolutely thrived, making 10 of his 13 attempts and finishing with a line of 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 8 assists. Play after play ended up as a highlight-worthy finish at the rim.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 4, 2017
Major Moment: The third-quarter was the Clippers’ strongest period of the game, starting off the frame with a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 10. The rally reached a crescendo as Chris Paul nailed his fourth three-pointer of the quarter to bring the Clippers within one possession with 1:40 left in the period. The Bucks would then answer with a 8-2 run before the start of the game’s final period of play. The game never got closer for LA.
Key Lineups: Matthew Dellavedova and Greg Monroe provided a one-two punch off the bench that the Clippers had no answer for on this evening. It should come as no surprise then that they were part of the Bucks’ best lineup of the game; alongside Giannis, Khris Middleton, and Jason Terry, the five would play to a net rating of 136.4 and a True Shooting Percentage of 101.7 in their 8 minutes together on the floor.
The Definition: The Clippers fall to 1-4 since the All-Star Break. There is bound to be some period of role adjustment with the return of Chris Paul, but the problems on the defensive end should continue to be the team’s largest concern. The defensive rating among the last five games stands at 117.1, which ranks last among all teams in the same span.
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