Another road back-to-back, another pair of Clippers wins. Despite winning late in Oklahoma City Friday night and facing a young Timberwolves team in Minnesota that had two days off, the LA Clippers won their 6th straight game Saturday night, defeating the Timberwolves 119-105.
The points were a season-high for the Clippers, who maintain the league’s best record at 9-1.
The Clippers jumped out on the Timberwolves early, as PF Blake Griffin scored 8 of his team-high 20 points in a 1st quarter that saw LA lead 34-21.
The Timberwolves used runs of 9-0 and 8-0 to eliminate LA’s lead, and a corner three from Minnesota C Karl-Anthony Towns (game-high 24 points) tied the game at 43 with 5:16 left in the 1st half. But the Clippers answered right back with an 11-1 run, and the Clippers took a 60-51 halftime lead, with SG J.J. Redick leading the way with 13 of his 18 points in the 1st half.
It looked like the Clippers would sit the starters for the 4th 4th quarter in 5 games after LA led 88-73 at the end of a 3rd quarter fueled by an 11-2 run.
The Clippers led by as many as 19 points in the 4th quarter, but after LA backup PG Raymond Felton hit a 3 with 7:32 left, the Timberwolves backups held the 2nd unit without a FG for the rest of the game. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers saw enough when the lead shrunk to 99-88 with 5:53 left after a three by Minnesota backup PG Tyus Jones, inserting the starters back into the game.
That’s when the hacking started!
Now, Target Center had this cute promo where if an opposing FT shooter missed both attempts, the crowd would get frozen yogurts. It’s like 45 degrees in Minneapolis right now, but I digress. Clippers C DeAndre Jordan was hacked on a whopping 8 of the next 11 possessions, including 7 straight. Jordan knocked down 10-of-16 FTs (62.5 percent), never missing both FTs on one trip. It was the best FT shooting game of Jordan’s career with at least 10 attempts, and he even made a tip-in with 1:06 left in the game to end a FG drought that lasted 6:26. Minnesota only made up 5 points during the “drought”, and they lost 2 points from the point that former Clipper and current Minnesota backup C Cole Aldrich fouled out hacking Jordan.
Cole and DeAndre might've just wanted to hug.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) November 13, 2016
Jordan finished with 18 points (4-of-6 FGs), 16 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. The Clippers outscored the Timberwolves by 11 points at the FT line and shot 52.6 percent from the field for the game.
Clippers SF Luc Mbah a Moute had a banner game, scoring 15 points on 6-of-8 FGs to set his season-high in points for the second-straight Saturday. It’s the most points by Mbah a Moute since he joined the Clippers in 2015. Meanwhile, Minnesota SF Andrew Wiggins scored 22 points but made only 8-of-24 FGs (33.3 percent).
Tonight was Andrew Wiggins' 25th career game with at least 20 FG attempts, and Clippers held him to his lowest FG% (33.3%) of those games
— ClipperBlog (@clipperblog) November 13, 2016
For the 2nd straight game, Griffin played in the 4th quarter but failed to make a FG. But he did manage to break the 9,000-point barrier, becoming the fastest player to 9,000 career points, 4,000 rebounds and 1,500 assists since Hall of Famer Larry Bird in 1984.
Blake Griffin hits 9,000 career pts in his 420th career game. He's the fastest player to reach 9K PTS, 4K REB & 1,500 AST since Larry Bird pic.twitter.com/DbguyqqWcp
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) November 13, 2016
The Clippers starting lineup was used even more on this one, with Doc Rivers going with the Chris Paul-Redick-Mbah a Moute-Griffin-Jordan lineup for 28 minutes. It was effective enough, outscoring the Timberwolves 71-59 while compiling a 24.1 net rating. But the Clippers 2nd unit had a forgettable night without backup SF Wesley Johnson (heel); PF Brandon Bass took Johnson’s spot with Felton, Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford, and Marreese Speights, and that unit was outscored 31-18 in 11 minutes on the court while compiling a net rating of -83.0. Meanwhile, Minnesota head coach Tom Thibodeau watched his starters get smacked in PG Ricky Rubio’s return to the lineup, as they compiled a -25.7 net rating in 23 minutes.
The Clippers don’t get much rest, so they’re going to have to keep pushing. They don’t get more than a day off for the rest of the month. But they do return home Monday night after winning in Minnesota for the 9th straight time – LA’s longest active road winning streak against a single opponent.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) November 13, 2016