LA Clippers stand firm, edge out Toronto Raptors to win 123-115
The LA Clippers get a noteworthy 123-115 win against the tough Toronto Raptors, holding onto the NBA’s best record at 13-2.
Chris Paul tallied 26 points, 12 dimes, two steals and helped seal the win for the LA Clippers (13-2) against a feisty Toronto Raptors (8-6) team 123-115. In a game of runs the, Clippers led by as much as 17points in the game and had it as close as four late in the fourth quarter.
After a slow first by both teams in the first, thanks to some sloppy turnovers and missed shots, both offenses turned up the heat to make it a shootout. The Clippers shot 52.7 percent while the Raptors shot exactly 50 percent from the field. The Clippers also hit 10 of their 25 three-pointers for the game, edging past the Raptors mark of 8-of-19.
Late in the first quarter, Jamal Crawford hit a two-pointer to go ahead 20-19, the last time the Raptors would lead. For good measure, Crawford hit a wild, falling three at the buzzer to extend the lead to four at the end of the first.
Paul hit a huge three (thanks to a Blake Griffin assist) with a little over two minutes left in the game to give the Clippers a 113-104 lead. Paul raced down the court on the next possession and was fouled in the act of shooting, making the shot and then the free throw. The Raptors responded with a timeout.
Toronto continued to foul the Clippers in an attempt to claw back into the game, but it wasn’t enough. And neither was their attempt to use Hack-a-DJ against DeAndre Jordan; he went 9-of-14 from the line (64.3 percent).
Griffin added 26 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. J.J. Reddick chipped in with 20 and went 3-of-4 from deep. Jordan was a monster on the boards, grabbing 15 rebounds to go along with his 17 points. Jamal Crawford had 12 and Luc Mbah a Moute chipped in 10 points, also adding two pointers to keep reassuring Clippers fans that he may be able to space the floor somewhat this year.
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Chris Paul and Blake Griffin play the pick-and-roll as good as it gets. Chris was delivering perfect passes to Griffin, who would either drive, get fouled, or pass out to a shooter or lob to Jordan.
A healthy Griffin returning to complete this trio now has the Clippers ranked a firm 2nd in the NBA in offensive efficiency at 111.1.
The Clippers snapped a four-game losing streak to Toronto and improved to an NBA-best 13-2.
A technical was called on the Clippers for having 6 players on the court over a great deal of confusion with the refs and substitution attempts late in the game.
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The LA Clippers head out on a six-game road trip now, starting against the Dallas Mavericks (2-11) on Wednesday the 23rd. The Mavericks could have three key players — Dirk Nowitzki, Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut — out with injury. The Clippers will take it one game at a time to not look over any opponent.