Clippers Clamp Down On Bobcats

Views 8
0

LOS ANGELES -- Defense and a second-half offensive spark propelled the Los Angeles Clippers to an easy 112-85 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday.

"It was all about defense, energy, (and) we moved the ball," said LOS ANGELES point guard Chris Paul, who scored 17 points and handed out 14 assists. "We had a great practice yesterday where we competed. We just talked about moving the ball, and we did that tonight. Things came a little bit easier."

Forward Blake Griffin scored 21 of his 31 points in the second half, and the Clippers rolled to victory at Staples Center.

It was the third time in four games Griffin scored 30 or more points. He hit 14 of 20 field-goal attempts against Charlotte. He scored 35 in a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Dec. 26, and he had a season-high 40 points in a win over the Utah Jazz on Saturday.

"We have the upmost confidence in (Griffin)," said Paul, who scored all of his points in the second half. "He works so hard. Tonight, (his performance) was unreal. They didn't know what to do. It was impressive."

LOS ANGELES forward Jared Dudley finished with 20 points, hitting six of nine 3-point tries and seven of 10 shots overall. Guard Jamal Crawford added 11 points for the Clippers.

"Those guys just played really well," said Charlotte point guard Kemba Walker, who finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. "They picked up their defense and made us take some tough shots that we weren't able to make. On the offensive end, they played great. They moved the ball really well and they made shots."

Center Al Jefferson also had 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Charlotte (14-19). Guard Gerald Henderson added 12 points, while forward Anthony Tolliver scored 11.

The Clippers (22-12) bounced back after suffering their worst defeat of the season Monday night against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. Against Charlotte, which dropped its fourth in a row and its 17th consecutive game to a Western Conference opponent, LOS ANGELES dominated the second half, outscoring the Bobcats 56-29.

"We played a championship-caliber team," Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said. "They played a great second half. I thought we played well in the first half. Then they turned up the defense in the second half, our turnovers hurt us, and Blake Griffin shot great. Sometimes, against a team the caliber of this, they get it going.

"We'll learn from it, watch the film, try to get better. But we did some good things."

The score was 56-56 at the break. The Clippers, though, opened the third quarter with a 17-6 run, capped by Dudley's 3-pointer that gave LOS ANGELES a 73-62 advantage.

Dudley, who struggled recently with his outside shooting, scored 11 points in the third, hitting all four of his field-goal attempts, three of those coming from behind the arc. The Clippers outscored the Bobcats 25-13 in the quarter and took an 81-69 lead into the fourth.

"When we play from side to side, we're a different team," said Dudley, who had 14 of his points after intermission. "For me, to see the ball go in once or twice breeds confidence."

Griffin converted four of his five field-goal attempts in the third for eight points. In the quarter, LOS ANGELES hit 55 percent of its shots (11 of 20) compared to 21.1 percent (four of 19) for the Bobcats.

Overall, the Clippers shot 55.3 percent (47 of 85) from the field, while Charlotte hit just 38.2 percent (29 of 76).

NOTES: Coach Doc Rivers forced the Clippers to watch two replays of their 107-88 debacle against the Phoenix Suns on Monday night, when they committed 20 turnovers and shot 36.5 percent from the floor. "We saw a lot of things as a team that we've slipped on," Rivers said. "Our transition 'D' to start with, which has been unbelievable, was horrendous, as bad as it's been in a long time." ... The Bobcats entered the game giving up 93.8 point per game, the third-lowest average in the NBA. They ranked first in fewest points allowed in the paint (35.8 per game) and fast-break points (9.8 per game). ... Charlotte caps its five-game road trip with games Thursday at the Portland Trail Blazers and Saturday at the Sacramento Kings. ... The Clippers are headed for a Texas road swing, playing the Dallas Mavericks on Friday and the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday. ... The game drew a sellout crowd of 19,160.

You may also like

HEADLINES & RUMORS

Wire news

Lakers: No deal in place for Scott 27 Jul 2014 at 4:00pm
James to wear No. 23 27 Jul 2014 at 2:00pm
Casspi to sign with Kings 26 Jul 2014 at 6:00pm
NBA may extend All-Star break 26 Jul 2014 at 12:24pm
Love won't play in World Cup 26 Jul 2014 at 12:10pm
G-F Henry re-signs with Lakers 25 Jul 2014 at 8:00pm
Magic sign G Ridnour 25 Jul 2014 at 6:00pm
Wall added to Team USA roster 25 Jul 2014 at 4:20pm
Hornets sign first-round pick Vonleh 25 Jul 2014 at 4:00pm
Suns waive G Christmas 24 Jul 2014 at 4:56pm
Magic sign G Marble 24 Jul 2014 at 12:41pm
Allen could join LeBron in Cleveland 24 Jul 2014 at 12:00pm
Timberwolves re-sign F Hummel 23 Jul 2014 at 6:00pm