While DeAndre Jordan was off to a career high in free throw percentage to begin the season, the past few months have looked more like years past. The result, once again, is a percentage below 50 percent (.478 entering today’s contest). The month of March has been an especially rough time at the stripe, with the Clippers center only making 12 of his 41 attempts.
With the decline in full effect, it would come as no surprise that the Sixers would foul to intentionally send him to the line. Unfortunately for them, DeAndre would make 7 of his 10 attempts, including four free throws in a fourth-quarter stretch where the the Clippers brought their lead to double-digits.
Doc Rivers on DJ's 7-of-10 performance from the FT line: "I worked with him today. The other [coaches] worked with him all the other games."
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) March 11, 2017
X-Factor: Chris Paul notched his first 30-point game of the season, nailing 11 of his 16 attempts and all four of his three-pointers. He was especially dominant in the second half, scoring 20 on 7-8 shooting. He even found the space to bust out the Shammgod in the third quarter.
Shammgod Saturday pic.twitter.com/ssm5lyQyeZ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 11, 2017
Major Moment: Blake Griffin came in for Wesley Johnson at the 11:15 mark of the fourth quarter, and alongside the rest of the second unit, he’d spark a Clippers run that began with a 3-point play and continued on the next possession with a steal and pass to Marreese Speights for a cross-court layup. It became a 10-0 run before the Sixers responded with their first points of the final frame.
Key Lineups: For the second game in a row, it was a staggered lineup that made the difference for the Clippers. The Clippers all-bench unit only saw 3.8 minutes on the floor together, and while the Blake-plus-bench unit mentioned earlier outplayed the Sixers for a sustained stretch of the fourth quarter, the Clippers had their best stretch of the first half in the second quarter with Raymond Felton in the small forward spot alongside the rest of the Clippers starters.
The Definition: Staggering the Clippers starters has been a plea for fans and pundits alike almost as long as Chris Paul has been on the team. Seeing it in one game? An anomaly. Two games in a row? A coincidence, perhaps. Whether it becomes a pattern will be something to monitor in this final stretch of the regular season.
The team has now won 3 of their last 4 games, and find themselves a game behind Utah for the 4th seed prior to the two teams facing off on Monday. Should the Clippers win, they would win the season series against Utah and own the tiebreaker for playoff seeding.