There was so much bad blood between second year players DeMarcus Cousins and Blake Griffin two days ago, that I thought it would be fun and fitting to do a live-diary of the night and see if the physicality in this match-up somehow exceeds their last meeting.
(times are Eastern Standard Time)
10:42 The Clippers are looking sharp out of the gate on offense with Chris Paul running the show.
10:46 The Kings get a couple lay-ups and take the lead 6 to 4, followed by an offensive foul.
10:50 Chris Paul gets an absolutely nasty steal and then throws a floating pass to Caron Butler for three. He has made such a difference on this team; he is a epitome of a coach on the floor, and the Clippers sure need one since they don’t really have a coach on the bench.
10:58 Lob City Alert! Blake Griffin with the throwdown off the Caron Butler dish. You always know what’s going to happen when Blake points up with his finger!
11:00 Randy Foye is 3 of 3 from 3. How many more 3′s can I put in this sentence. Don’t tempt me, I might try for 3 more. Foye has led the Clippers in scoring in two of the last 3 games and has been real solid lately. They are a different team when he is hitting that shot, or I should say, that 3 : )
11:06 JIMMER TIME! He has got a real pretty jumper. I was pretty sure he wasn’t going to be real effective in the league, because he didn’t play ANY defense in the NCAA tournament, but it was fun in the land of Utah while it lasted.
11:07 Great play at the end of the quarter by Chris Paul, getting Blake Griffin a shot close to the basket.
END of 1st QUARTER: The Clippers have been coming out of the gates with intensity lately, and no difference today. They have got it all going on offense, and they will look to build this lead if they can get solid minutes from their bench.
11:10 Blake starts off the quarter with a fast break jam; DeMarcus Cousins has really got to bring more effort to back up his words about Griffin earlier this week.
11:12 DeMarcus Cousins draws the charge against Blake Griffin just after I typed the above; he hasn’t been guarding Blake today, Jason Thompson has, so a lot of the scrappy play down low has been a bit more reserved today.
11:14 Randy Foye drills another 3; Foye makes it so hard for other teams to come back from a deficit, when he hits that shot.
11:15 Blake Griffin has had 4 dunks in this quarter alone, he is really lighting it up, 7 of 8 from the field and 8 rebounds too; I think he wants a double-double before the half is over.
11:19 Jimmer apparently said before the game: “I need to be Jimmer”. That might help his shooting woes, I suppose.
11:21 Eric Bledsoe has really been playing great off the bench this month. He had 13 points in the last game, and he does a phenomenal job of pushing the pace for the Clippers even when they don’t have Paul out there.
11:22 Jimmer is being Jimmer! He’s got 10 points off the bench so far, after hitting a tough lay-up over DeAndre Jordan by using his body as a shield.
11:25 Nick Young hits a tough leaning jumper. You know how you know when Nick Young is going to shoot the ball? He has it in his hands.
11: 28 Eric Bledsoe throws down a vicious dunk. The Clippers just keep attacking the paint tonight. Bledsoe is 6’1″, but he looked like he was making fun of Blake Griffin there.
11:30 Reggie Evans looks like Stringer Bell from “The Wire”, just saying. He has brought quite a bit of rebounding and toughness to this Clippers team. I really liked the moves the Clippers made after adding Chris Paul. Chauncey Billups was an amazing pick-up until the ACL injury; Bobby Simmons has played decently, stretching the floor with his 3-point shot; and then Reggie Evans and Kenyon Martin were both nice front-court additions.
11:37 Kings have scrapped their way back into this one after the floater by Terrence Williams cut the Clippers lead to 4.
11:39 Some bad defense by DeMarcus Cousins, giving Blake Griffin another easy bucket. Blake Griffin then draws another quick foul on Cousins to end the half. This has been a pretty quiet half between the two of them since Cousins hasn’t guarded Griffin, but the Kings might need to rethink that strategy as Griffin has absolutely torched them down low this half.
11:59 Randy Foye drills another one and continues his hot shooting night. He is 7 of 9 from the field with 5 treys now; if Foye and Griffin keep producing like they did in the first half, then it will be difficult for the Kings to stay in this game.
12:03 The Clippers looking sharp on defense, Randy Foye has a great block flying out of nowhere.
12:05 Cousins still not guarding Griffin this half; not sure Jason Thompson is going to cut it. Cousins did get into foul trouble last game, but he also held Griffin to only 14 points.
12:05 Griffin picks up a technical after getting tripped by DeMarcus Cousins and overreacting to it. This was his 11th of the year, after 13 technicals NBA players get suspended for a game.
12:06 Kings have cut the Clippers lead to 2 points, and they will need to keep frustrating Griffin like this to pull out the win.
12:13 Caron Butler collects the ball on the floor and rolls three times over the floor for a travel. Hard to dribble the ball while you are rolling on the floor; Chris Paul could probably do it if anyone can.
12:15 Blake Griffin slams home his 6th dunk of the night off a Chris Paul pick and roll. Griffin is on a mission tonight.
12:17 Blake Griffin just buried one of the best and-one lay-ups I have ever seen, and then inexplicably Griffin gets called for the TRAVEL after the foul. That was both one of the best plays I’ve seen this year, and one of the dumbest referee calls.
12:19 Garcia hits a 3, and the Kings cut the lead to 1; still in awe of how bad a call that was by the referee, they just negated one of the best circus shots of the year.
12:23 Foye hits his sixth 3 for some karma points for the Clippers.
12:24 On a replay of the 3, we see Cousins basically just shove Blake Griffin out of he way for a rebound that never comes. Seems like the referees are kind of “babying” Cousins.
12:27 Chris Paul buries the long-jumper and looks like he is entering 4th quarter mode.
12:28 Just as I typed the above, Paul hits a lay-up after getting fouled for the and-one. And buries the free throw. Great quarter from Paul, he is up to 13 assists and
3rd Quarter: Clippers showed some nice mental toughness at the end of the third, not letting a couple blown calls get in the way of pushing the lead back up to 8. The Lakers lost to the Suns without Kobe tonight, and the Clippers will have a shot to pull one game closer to their building-sharing rivals.
12:32 Francisco Garcia holds his head and rocks on the floor after a hit in the head from Bobby Simmons, and the KIngs coach has to take a technical to stop the game. Hope Garcia is OK.
12:36 Chris Paul has a brilliant set of dribble moves to create space for his jumper, and on the next drive Foye hits his 7th trey of the game. Clippers starting to pull away here.
12:40 Blake Griffin slams home a ridiculous one handed alley-oop from Eric Bledsoe , and on the next play Paul throws an alley-oop off the backboard to Bledsoe. When the Clippers play at this level they are real difficult to hang with. Just pushed their lead to 14.
12:49 A Kenyon Martin dunk gets the Clipper lead to 17 points, and with focused play until the end they should come out of this one with a win.
12:52 Nick Young hits his first 3 of the game, and pushes the lead to 20; next possession, Bledsoe hits a 3. This one looks pretty much over as the Clippers send their bench crew out on the floor.
SUMMARY: Clippers got great games from Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, and Randy Foye tonight; they are a tough team when 3 of their guys get going like that. The Clippers looked sharp and focused on both ends of the floor tonight for pretty much all four quarters, they held DeMarcus Cousins to 5 of 18 from the field, and closed with a strong 4th quarter as well. Quality win for Lob City as they pull within a half game of the Lakers.