The Los Angeles Clippers were looking to snap a 4 game losing streak against the Portland Trail Blazers Sunday night at Staples Center. After a tough, 1 point loss to the Trail Blazers Saturday night in Portland (in which they blew a 9 point lead with just over 2 1/2 minutes to play, the Clippers were hoping to bounce back with a win. The Clippers have struggled their last four games offensively and defensively, but unlike Clippers teams of yore, there was no need to panic, we got this!
With our star point guard, Chris Paul, out for the fourth straight game with a bruised right knee, Eric Bledsoe had to step up his game. He scored 10 points with 5 rebounds and 5 assists. I love that no matter what, Blake Griffin always contributes. Saturday night against the Trail Blazers Griffin scored 24 points with 8 rebounds and 10 assists and tonight he contributed by scoring 23 points along with 5 rebounds and 9 assists. Blake is usually not comfortable being the “leader,” but like the rest of his game, he’s steadily growing into the role.
The Clippers had a 55-50 lead going into the third quarter and kept their lead all the way until the end of regulation with a final score of 96-83. The Clippers definitely played a lot better offensively and defensively tonight. They allowed the Trail Blazers to shoot 11 for 25 (44%) three pointers Saturday night but held them to only shooting 3 for 15 (20%) three pointers tonight. What I love about this team is they are not selfish players and they don’t give up. The Clippers had a season high of 33 assists. The Clippers bench had a combined score of 36 points. Everyone on this team contributes one way or another. The Clippers knew what they needed to do tonight and they accomplished it.
After last night’s game, the Clippers are now 33-13 and are 2.5 games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the NBA. The team is off to an eight game road trip starting Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center in Minnesota. Game starts at 5pm. Next home game is not until February 13th against the Houston Rockets. I will definitely be at that game to welcome back our boys from a long road trip.