Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: If a send-off was what Kobe Bryant was looking for, then Chris Paul sure gave him one in style. In only 22 minutes of playing time, the Clippers floor general made 10 of his 14 shots to lead all scorers with 25 points, also adding 8 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals.
That was … a 10 spot: That was the 10th straight victory the Clippers have notched against the Lakers, which ties the Clippers longest active win streak against any opponent. In that time, the average margin of victory the Clippers have put up against the Lake Show is 21.6 points.
X factor: Transition defense and live-ball turnovers were a major problem for the Lakers, and the Clippers capitalized, tying a season high in fast break points with 28 points — 20 of them coming in the first half of the game.
— Brandon Tomyoy
Tweet(s) Of The Game
Clippers' tribute video of Kobe was fairly brief but give them credit for showing him scoring a lot vs. them. Most teams not doing that.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) April 6, 2016
Clippers Darrell yells, "Kobe, I love you." On the bench, Bryant acknowledges Clippers Darrell with a smile, chest thump and point.
— Bill Oram (@billoram) April 6, 2016
I think they're chanting "We want Kogi."
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) April 6, 2016
Kobe saying goodbye to Clippers/Lakers fans pic.twitter.com/E80gYTFV7n
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) April 6, 2016
Check Your Messages
Alright, let’s run through some of the numbers here:
– Tonight marked the Clippers’ 10th straight win vs. the Lakers.
– The Lakers were held to 31.3 percent from the field – the lowest mark against the Los Angeles Clippers since the Clippers moved from San Diego in 1984 (141 matchups)
– Only two Clippers scored in double figures, but all 13 active players made at least one FG.
– For the 4th time in six games, the Clippers didn’t play Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Blake Griffin, or DeAndre Jordan in the 4th quarter.
Now, that last one, is actually a concern for the Clippers. The starters obliterated the Lakers, with all five (including Luc Richard Mbah a Moute) recording a +/- of at least +26.
But Blake Griffin still looks like he’s rehabbing, and he had four turnovers to go with only four points on five shots. Worse, he only lasted 16 minutes. The only Clippers who played less were third-stringers Jeff Ayres, Pablo Prigioni, and C.J. Wilcox.
It’s a back-to-back home-and-home with the Lakers, but Griffin needs to play tomorrow. He has to run and shoot and attack again. It’s great that the Clippers defense has been stellar with him on the floor (seriously, that D-Rating vs. Lakers is ridiculous even against the Lakers), but like Doc Rivers said Tuesday before practice, they need to get Griffin back to normal.
The Clippers could use rest going into the playoffs. But now isn’t the time for rest. They have work to do – on themselves. Time for Rivers to keep rolling his guys out there.
Where the Grass is Greener
Jeff Green has scored in double figures in five of the last six contests.
The common thread: All of these games have come from his time playing as a member of the Clippers second unit.
Yes, some of those minutes are staggered with Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan, but in general, the majority of those minutes come from playing alongside a second unit that tends to spend a large amount of their possessions outside of the paint. For a player like Green, then, to come in and play in a manner where he’s actively trying to get closer to the paint, either by driving or posting, makes sense as to why at least the eye test seems to indicate that his play has been better with the second unit — both on offense and on defense.
By that accord, that also confirms an acceptance that Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is indeed the regular starting forward for this Clippers team. He may not have the offensive prowess as a Jeff Green, but with the potency in scoring ability from the other starters, there hasn’t been as much a need for more scoring as there has been a need for consistent defense. That’s been noticeable as Mbah a Moute has had more games under his belt since the eye injury, and by giving Jeff Green room in the second unit, he’s added another scoring option to a second unit that is as prone to peaks as it is to valleys.