Monday night was the first interconference game of the season for the LA Clippers as they hosted the Detroit Pistons. It was supposed to be a matchup of two top defenses, but we hinted that the PG matchup between Ish Smith of the Pistons and Chris Paul of the Clippers could be decisive.
Paul dominated, scoring a game-high 24 points on 8-of-10 FGs while adding 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, and making all 5 three-point attempts. Smith scored only 2 points on 1-of-9 from the field. The Clippers made a season-high 53.9 percent from the field and led the Pistons by as many as 43 points in what was a 114-82 win.
The Clippers are on their second three-game win streak of the season, and at 6-1, they’re off to their best start in franchise history. For the second game in a row, the Clippers did not play the starters at all in the 4th quarter. And the win over Detroit was the 11th in a row for the Clippers, extending LA’s longest active winning streak against a single opponent.
A positive trend continued for the Clippers, as the starting lineup of Paul, J.J. Redick, Luc Mbah a Moute, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan played 24 minutes together. The LA starting lineup outscored Detroit 67-34, while shooting 64.9 percent from the field and assisting on 17 of 24 field goals. It was an annihilation.
And the only other lineup with a positive net rating for the Clippers was the all-bench unit of Raymond Felton, Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford, Wesley Johnson, and Marreese Speights. In 11 minutes, the 2nd unit compiled a 41.2 net rating, holding the Pistons to 15 points on 6-of-20 shooting from the field.
The Pistons still got strong games from C Andre Drummond (15 points, 6-of-10 FGs, 12 rebounds) and backup PF Jon Leuer (14 points, 6-of-10 FGs, 6 rebounds). But the Clippers held the Pistons to a season-low in points while scoring more points on Detroit than any other team so far this season.