Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: Paul George continued his streak of high-scoring games with a 31 point performance, also adding 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals to his line tonight. The Pacers have now won 6 straight and 9 of their last 10 games.
That was … another injury: 20 seconds into the game, J.J. Redick would sprain his ankle as he landed awkwardly on George Hill’s foot after his first and only shot attempt. After making his two free throws, he left the game. An effort to test his ankle at halftime was not fruitful, and the Clippers guard would not make a return to the contest.
X factor: The game would likely have been a blowout from beginning to end if not for Lance Stephenson’s best game in a Clipper uniform, scoring 19 points on 8/11 shooting with 3 rebounds and 3 assists. He was also the only Clipper player to make more than half of his shots, as well as the only Clipper that made more than one three pointer in the game.
— Brandon Tomyoy
Tweet(s) Of The Game
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) December 3, 2015
Doc Rivers said he doesn't think J.J. Redick's right ankle sprain is "awful," but he's not sure how long he'll be out, if at all.
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) December 3, 2015
Rather than being in Charlotte, it's like Lance took a year off — to go paint mosaics in Romania or something — and this is his revenge game
— Jared Wade (@8pts9secs) December 3, 2015
Check Your Messages
What a rough shooting night for Blake Griffin.
Griffin came into tonight’s game vs. the Pacers making 54.1 percent of his field goals (best since career-high 54.9 percent in 2011-2012) and 75.4 percent from the FT line (improving from last season’s career-high of 72.8 percent).
The Pacers forced Griffin into a brutally inefficient scoring night, holding Griffin to 19 points on 18 shots. Griffin made only 6 FGs (33.3 percent) and missed half of his 14 FTs. It’s the 1st game in his career where he missed at least half of at least 5 FTs AND made 1/3 of his FG attempts or less.
That’s back-to-back games for Griffin under 50% from the field now, and 3 of the 5 games during the homestand. The Clippers did a poor job around Griffin as well, with Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford combining to also shoot 33.3 percent from the field (9-of-27 FGs).
With Chris Paul (ribs) and now J.J. Redick (ankle) hurting, it’s a major concern for the Clippers as they head into their final game of the homestand Saturday night against the Magic.
– Law Murray
Losing JJ Redick in the opening moments was a terrible omen for the remainder of this game. With Chris Paul already out of the fold and essentially no other perimeter threats, the Pacers were able to key in on Griffin. With a lack of outside shooting, Indiana frustrated Griffin inside. He finished with a team low +/- of -16, uncharacteristic of a guy who is not only an efficient scorer but a catalyst for the entire offense.
Outside of an encouraging performance from Lance Stephenson, the offense ran completely dry. Stephenson aside, the Clippers as a team connected on just 3-of-23 from three-point range. Indiana came in equipped with the second best defense in the league — allowing just 95.5 points per 100 possessions — and without an outside shooter in Redick, the Pacers simply shrunk the floor and suffocated the Clippers.
This homestand appeared to be an ideal opportunity to gain traction. That no longer appears to be the case with key pieces now laboring and the offense/defense in disarray.
– Kaveh Jam
This Is Not My Beautiful House
When word came down that Chris Paul would sit this game out, everyone who follows the Clippers suspected that it might be an ugly game. And then, when JJ Redick was injured on the first possession of the game, those suspicions were confirmed – the basketball tonight was always going to be rather grim. But even knowing all of that, I wasn’t prepared for the parade of unfortunate offense that we witnessed. For long stretches of the game the Clippers failed to penetrate, let the shot clock slip away like Byrne and Eno (well… how did we get here?), and settled for contested mid-range jumpers.
Much of this was due to the Pacers’ defense, long-armed and swarming, sharp with rotations and crafty with their double teams. But much of it was also due to the Clippers’ poor vision and lack of creativity. That’s not to say there weren’t flashes – Josh Smith made a nice interior pass or two, and Lance looked energized against his former team. Even Pablo Prigioni had an intriguing minute. But mostly it was a parade of Clipper bricks and wild passes that lead to Pacer run-outs, a startling lack of movement when the Pacers double-teamed Griffin, and offense that looked like it was operating in mud. There is still time, but this team might need more than the flip of a switch.
– Ben Mesirow
The Scorpion and the Frog
Jamal Crawford led the team in minutes (37:05). He almost doubled Lance Stephenson’s minutes in the second half (19:03 to 11:25). But this isn’t about Crawford or Stephenson.
To be continued?
– Andrew Han