In Chris Paul’s first game back in New Orleans, the Clippers disappointed against the (11-35) Hornets. It was only New Orleans 5th home win, but they brought it against their former superstar.
The Clippers had an 11 point lead in the 3rd quarter, but it evaporated quickly in the fourth.
Jason Smith somehow posterized Blake Griffin with a dunk, and then fouled Griffin so viciously hard when Griffin was trying to pay him back in kind, that he was ejected from the game.
Chris Paul(16 points, 9 assists) and Blake Griffin (21 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals) had their usually solid games, but only one other Clipper scored in double figures and that is eventually what did the Clippers in. A Xavier Henry 3 pointer made it a three possession game with about 7 minutes left and the Clippers were never able to recover.
On the Hornets side, 5 players scored more than 12 points with Chris Kaman leading the way with a herculean 20 points 10 rebounds, and 4 blocks. The Hornets shot 57% from the field and the Clippers shot 38%, and that is not a recipe for a win.
The Clippers have been reeling ever since the All-Star break, and if they don’t fix their fourth quarter woes soon, then they could be looking at losing home-court advantage in the first round of the Playoffs. And this is not a team that appears ready to win a 7 game series as a road team.