“The first time they beat us here, you’d have thought they won the NBA finals.” Chris Paul
It’s becoming increasingly clear that Chris Paul has a long memory. And you’d rather not be on the wrong end of those remembrances.
So, playing the second night of a back-to-back against thorn-in-their-side Golden State (and missing scoring machine Jamal Crawford due to a foot injury), one could forgive the Clippers if they came out flat and struggled against the rested Warriors. We here at FullyClips figured this to be a tough contest that might come down to the end and go either way, befitting a game of sudden divisional rivals fighting for the control of the Pacific. The Warriors, seeking their fourth straight win, seemed to be a chic pick among the various blogpers and pundits, while the Clippers, still smarting over a smack down in Oakland and coming off a tough win over their Staples co-tenants were suddenly being questioned as true title contenders.
Well, folks, let’s just examine what happened last night, starting with Blake Griffin. On Wednesday, David Lee, he of the annoying smirk and constant smack talking, had his way with Blake, scoring 24 points, grabbing 13 rebounds, and dishing out 7 assists, while Griffin could only muster 10 points on 2-11 shooting. The Warriors, from their coach on down their bench, kept taunting him, especially after he clanked a shot off the side of the backboard with the shot clock running down, Coach Mark Jackson even calling out Blake as an “actor” and proclaiming Lee his superior. This time around, Lee was smothered by Griffin and managed only 10 points on 3-10 shooting, that constant smirk relegated to the bench in garbage time. In fact, Lee got so frustrated that he decided to dole out a flagrant foul in the second quarter, pushing Blake from behind on an ally-opp attempt that sent him sprawling to the floor and into the basket support padding. That he wasn’t ejected is a refereeing travesty and there may be a fine coming once the league examines the play further. For his part, Blake popped up and stared down Lee but kept his temper in check, another sign of his maturity over last year, when he most likely would have gone after his opponent. Blake finished the night with a solid 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists in barely 30 minutes.
Now let’s get back to CP3 and his checklist of who’s been naughty and nice, who has had enough of this Warriors nonsense and decided to send them a distinct message: not in my house, not in my city, and not in my league. In 28 minutes, Paul torched the Warriors for 27 points on 10-12 shooting, hauled in 5 rebounds, adding 9 assists, and tallying a steal to add to his league lead while building a 39 point lead. That’s not a typo – 39 points up midway through the 3rd quarter – before Coach Del Negro pulled him from the game with Mark Jackson staring down the Clippers bench after a DeAndre Jordan slam off a Paul assist to throw a little emphasis on who’s boss in the Pacific Division. Coach Vinnie, for his part, wrote “NO MERCY” on his clipboard to let his team know there would be no taking their foot off the gas until this message was received loud and clear.
So Golden State, the next time you decide to celebrate on our floor (or anyone else’s), remember this beating well and STFU!
As for the game itself, it was a laugher from wire to wire, the Clippers leading again for the entire contest. The score was 35-12 after one, a crazy 77-43 after two, and ended with a 26 point margin after both teams emptied their benches with just above six minutes to play. For their part, the Clippers have a well-earned four days rest before taking on the Mavericks on Wednesday night, and have put to rest any doubts about who is not only best in their division, but who now rules LA basketball.
Tags: Blake Griffin Caron Butler Chauncey Billups Chris Paul DeAndre Jordan Eric Bledsoe Grant Hill Jamal Crawford LA Clippers Lamar Odom Lob City Los Angeles Los Angeles Clippers Los Angeles Clippers Matt Barnes NBA Vinny Del Negro Warriors