The Clippers were on a three game losing streak playing against the Orlando Magic Wednesday night in Orlando, while the Magic were on a ten game losing streak. Unfortunately, the last time the Magic were on a 10 game skid, the Clippers obliged them a win at the end in Los Angeles. Would lightning strike twice for the hard-luck Magic? Unfortunately, I was in attendance at the aforementioned loss at Staples and definitely didn’t want a repeat of that scenario.
With Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Chauncey Billups all out injured, the Clippers added another key name to their triage unit; Jamal Crawford was also not going to play due to a sore right shoulder. Though the Clippers were playing without arguably their top four players, the Magic weren’t any better off, coming in without three or their own (Glen Davis, JJ Redick, and Arron Afflalo). Jameer Nelson for the Magic was game time decision with a sore forearm, but ended up playing. In fact, if he was hurt I’d hate to see him healthy, as he scored 18 points in the first half, alone.
Truth be told, I felt like this was going to be another loss for the Clippers, as playing with four players out due to injuries just seemed too daunting. However, the reserves turned up the effort and snatched a win over the Magic 87-76. With all their injuries, the Clippers have (predictably) struggled and looked lost the past few games, so it was good to see everyone step up their game, rally around each other, and contribute to an unexpected win. Eric Bledsoe, who has been starting for Paul, scored a season career high of 27 points to go along with 6 steals, 3 assists, and 7 rebounds. Those are LeBron James type numbers. He six steals tied his career high and he matched another career best with three blocked shots. DeAndre Jordan has been stepping it up of late and had a double double with 13 points and 14 rebounds. The real surprise for me was Ryan Hollins, who has not played very many minutes this season, who came off the bench and had a season high of 13 points and 8 rebounds. Hello? Coach Vinnie, maybe get him some more minutes?
While the Clippers snapped their three game losing streak, the Magic extend their losing streak to eleven. The Clippers are now 2-3 on the road and have three more road games, including very tough Miami Heat team in Miami on Friday and an equally difficult opponent in New York on Sunday. The last time the Clippers played against Miami was on November 14, 2012 and the Clippers came out with a 107-100 win. Let’s hope the Clippers can beat the Heat again and put some distance between themselves and the rest of the playoff contenders nipping at their heels!
Note: There’s a good chance Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups will return to the starting lineup Friday at Miami, so set your DVR’s just in case!
Tags: Blake Griffin Caron Butler Chauncey Billups Chris Paul DeAndre Jordan Eric Bledsoe Grant Hill Jamal Crawford LA Clippers Lamar Odom Lebron James Lob City Los Angeles Clippers Los Angeles Clippers Matt Barnes NBA Vinny Del Negro