Clippers Close Out Trip With Win Over PhillyBy James F.
The Los Angeles Clippers are now healthy and winning again. Chris Paul scored 21 points in his third game back from injury and Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford chipped in 20 points each as the Clippers blew out the Philadelphia 76ers 107-90. The Clippers held the Sixers to 11 second quarter points as they went into the halftime locker room with 23 point lead at 56-33. They increased that lead to 29 by the end of the third quarter 88-59.
The Clippers ended their eight game road trip at 4-4 as they improved to 37-17 with the win. They still trail the Oklahoma City Thunder by 3.5 games for the second spot in the West and they trail the San Antonio Spurs by 4.5 for the top spot which they held for most of the first half of he season.
The Spurs are in the midst of a long road trip themselves. On Monday they beat the Chicago Bulls 103-89 to improve to 41-12 on the season. They beat Chicago the night after routing the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclay’s Center by 25 points to go to 2-1 on their eight game road trip.
The Spurs whipped a tough Chicago team with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli all out with injuries. That has to be a scary thought for the rest of the league. Also Stephen Jackson missed the game as well due to personal business. Kawhi Leonard led them with 26 points and Danny Green added 19 as they won despite being dominated on the glass.
The New Orleans Hornets beat the Detroit Pistons 105-86 on Monday. Ryan Anderson led the Hornets with 31 points while Robin Lopez added 23 as they improved to 18-34 on the season. Rookie top draft pick Anthony Davis had a tough offensive night going 0-7 with one point. But he did have eight rebounds in 17 minutes and the Hornets were +11 with him on the floor.
The Pistons fell to 20-33 and were led by Rodney Stuckey with 19 points.
The Dallas Mavericks slim playoff hopes were dealt another serious blow as they lost at home to the Atlanta Hawks 105-101. Josh Smith had 26 points and 13 rebounds as the Hawks improved their record to 28-22 while the Mavericks fell to 22-29 just two seasons removed from an NBA World Championship. Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 24 points. If the eighth seed cutoff in the Western Conference is 45-37, then Dallas would need to go 23 -8 the rest of the way to get there. Right now the Houston Rockets hold the eighth spot at 28-25. If they play at their current pace they should end the season at 44 wins.