After enduring a great first quarter by Marcin Gortat (11 points in the period), the Clippers played consistent ball in the second half and pulled away for the victory.
“We played with a sense of urgency,” Chris Paul said. “We were up 8 or 9 at one point , and it could have easily gone to 5 or 4, but we pushed it to 14, 15, and put them away.”
All talk of Vinny Del Negro’s dismissal has been squashed by 3 home wins in a row. In the last three games, the Clippers have come out with more purpose than they have shown since the beginning of the year; if these are the Playoff Clippers, then they might have a shot to advance past the first round or more.
“We lost three games in a row and the world was about to fall apart for us.” Blake Griffin said. “I remember stretches last year where we would lose 6 games in a row. And nothing was really said, so that’s progress for us. That’s progress for the Clippers organization. Which is a positive. You know we want to keep it that way Obviously we don’t’ want to lose three games in a row like that, but the way we responded was big.”
The Clippers will look to keep pushing against the Lakers to challenge for the Pacific division, and can write their own ticket to the playoffs if they keep winning games.
“Right now we control our own destiny,” Chris Paul said. “As long as we continue to win games, we don’t have to keep looking over our shoulder seeing what other teams are doing, so this home stretch is very important, and we got to keep it up.”
This team has not lacked talent, monster dunks, and excitement from the beginning of the year. It has been
consistency they lack at times, and the last 3 games might be a sign the Clippers are making steps in the right direction.
Can they sweep the home-stand? Only Portland and Utah stand in their way.