Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: Despite an un-Chris Paul like 6 turnovers, the Clippers’ floor general had an excellent night with a team-high 21 points on 8 of 15 shooting to go with a solid defensive effort that included 4 steals. With each push the Magic made to cut into the Clipper lead, he was there to with timely scoring to stretch the lead back out in a game where his team never trailed.
That was … an uncharacteristic blowout: Great ball control is a commonly seen quality in many Clipper wins, while rebounding falls by the wayside. Tonight was a reversal of those traits, as the Clippers turned the ball over 22 times to the Magic’s 18, yet outrebounded the home team 44 to 19. DeAndre Jordan alone grabbed 18 rebounds, which was seven more than the combined total of the Magic’s starting big man combo of Nikola Vujevic and Aaron Gordon.
X factor: The long arms of Wesley Johnson have been a boon to the second unit’s defense, and tonight was no different, with Johnson blocking four shots, which made up half of the team’s total for the game.
— Brandon Tomyoy
Tweet(s) Of The Game
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) February 6, 2016
You gotta let @StephensonLance b Lance
— Kimberly Jordan (@callmeMISSKIM) February 6, 2016
Meanwhile, Crawford's averaging 20.6 points on 52.1 percent shooting his last five games. Been huge offensively for the bench.
— Rowan Kavner (@RowanKavner) February 6, 2016
Check Your Messages
Lance the Playmaker
Lance Stephenson logged a pedestrian 19 minutes tonight — which was enough to leave a very conclusive imprint on the game. Desperate teams like the Magic can be dangerous because playing with a nothing-to-lose mentality can have a way of alleviating hesitation and over-thinking. When Orlando made a push in the fourth period, the Clippers turned at times to Lance the playmaker. He shot as efficiently as humanly possible (6-for-6 for 13 points), while moving the ball nicely on several possessions. You have to admire the sequence of Lance breaking down the defense on his way into the lane, only to flip a pass over his head to a flying DeAndre Jordan, who flushed it emphatically.
Lance has always had the versatility factor in his favor. Physically he has incredible ability to break down a defense off the dribble but the passing is often overshadowed. Most agree that aggressive Lance — when taken in controlled doses — is probably the best version of himself. Right now he’s playing his most efficient basketball as a Clipper and it’s especially encouraging when he resists the urge to bombs away erratically from three point range, as he did tonight. It’s a luxury for the Clippers to be able to release this sort of weapon off their bench. On nights when Jamal Crawford joins in with an efficient 20 points of his own, knocking the Clippers off is a tall order.
Low Priority Ball Security
The Clippers had a season-high 22 turnovers tonight in Orlando. Chris Paul, who is averaging his most turnovers in seven years, had a season-high six turnovers. Jamal Crawford had four off the bench, one off his season-high. The Clippers had only 15 assists, marking only the third time this season that the Clippers had more turnovers than assists in a game. The Magic had 18 turnovers, but still won the differential battle in that department.
And yet, the Clippers won by 14 points, never trailing even one time.
Surely, it helped that the Clippers made 56 percent of their field goal attempts from inside the arc. And DeAndre Jordan was dominant on the boards, helping the Clippers even the possession battle by outrebounding Orlando.
But perhaps most interesting is how the Clippers are now 12-8 since the start of the 2011-2012 season in games where the team has 20+ turnovers.
There were enough basketballs going around for three guards to hit 20+ points in the same game tonight, with long-two extraordinaire J.J. Redick scoring 20, Crawford getting 20, and Paul scoring a game-high 21. Los Angeles’ elite ball security is one of their trademarks, but tonight is just another example of how simple basketball is – getting buckets, any buckets, is sometimes all that matters.