The Los Angeles Clippers lost four of their first seven games
without starter J.J. Redick after the shooting guard was hurt Nov.
While Redick remains out with a broken right hand and a torn
ligament in his wrist, the Clippers have turned it around with five
straight victories since moving veteran sixth man Jamal Crawford
into the starting lineup.
The Clippers will look to extend their season-best streak and
win for the third straight year on Christmas Day when they visit
the Golden State Warriors.
Crawford has averaged 20.0 points since joining the pregame
introductions, including 22 in a 120-116 overtime home win over
Minnesota on Sunday.
His dunk after a Chris Paul steal in the final 10 seconds of
regulation sent the game to overtime after the Clippers trailed by
four with 18 seconds remaining.
“I kept saying, ‘It’s not over, there’s plenty of time, it’s not
over, there’s plenty of time,'” Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers said.
“I give them credit, they hung in there.”
Crawford hasn’t been hesitant with his shot, making 19 of 39 in
the last two games, including a 10-for-22 mark from 3-point
Blake Griffin led the way against the Timberwolves with 32
points and 10 rebounds, while Paul had an off shooting night (6 of
19) but still added 19 points and 13 assists.
“The biggest thing we learned as a team from Doc is, even in
practice, he talks about ‘The game is not over,'” Paul said. “When
we got down three or four there with seconds left, we could’ve said
we lost this one. But we fought hard.”
The Clippers (20-9) are averaging 113.6 points during the win
streak, and the previous four have all come by 13 or more.
The Warriors (16-13) got it done in a different way Monday in
Denver. Their 89-81 win over the Nuggets was their first while
scoring under 95 points this season.
“It tells you how good we can be because there is no question
about our guys’ ability to score and shoot the basketball,” Golden
State coach Mark Jackson said.
“The thing that can remain constant for us is our ability to
defend and defend at a high level. That is what is going to win
ball games for us. When our guys do establish a rhythm, it is going
to be awfully pretty.”
David Lee, who scored 28 and had 10 rebounds, is averaging 21.4
points and 12.3 boards during a nine-game streak of double-doubles
that began Dec. 7.
“I think the last 10 games or so I’ve tried to be really
aggressive, especially to start games, to attack the rim,” Lee
said. “Tonight was no exception.”
Golden State, seeking its third straight win overall, would like
to get back on track at home. After winning their first five at
home, the Warriors have gone 4-4 since Nov. 20.
Los Angeles kicked off its season series against Golden State
with a 126-115 home win on Halloween. Paul scored a season-high 42
in a battle with Stephen Curry, who had 38.
Golden State won three of four in last season’s series.
A year ago, the Clippers’ victory over Denver on Christmas Day
was their 14th in a row during a franchise-best 17-game winning