In what started as a sleepy beginning turned out to be a true showing of what kind of team the Los Angeles Clippers have become: well-conditioned and scrappy. Tonight’s 88-76 victory over the Detroit Pistons wasn’t pretty but was enough to give the Clippers their 10th-straight win.
In the first quarter, it seemed as if the road had finally gotten to the Clippers. They shot less than 32% from the field and were outscored in the paint 12-8. But things started to pick up in the third quarter when they stepped up their defense and forced some crucial turnovers that allowed them to gain momentum.
It was clear that the Pistons just didn’t have what it took to keep up with athleticism of the Clippers in the fourth quarter, again another tribute to the depth of a team that just does not let up. The Clippers shot 69% from the field and outscored the Pistons 20-8 in the paint.
For the Clippers. Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford led the team with 15 points. Chris Paul followed with 14 points and 7 assists, and Caron Butler put up 11 points. Using their size to their advantage, Lamar Odom and DeAndre Jordan pulled down 11 and 10 rebounds, respectively.
For the Pistons, Brandon Knight led the team with 16 points, and Tayshaun Prince followed with 15 points and 7 rebounds.
It’s been a long-yet successful-road trip for the Clippers, and I’m sure that they’re ready to get back home. But it won’t be a relaxing homecoming as they take on the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night. The Hornets defeated the Clippers 105-98 last month, so the Clippers will be out for some revenge in the Staples Center.