Short-handed revenge can still be satisfying, as demonstrated by the Los Angeles Clippers last night. The Clippers defeated the Orlando Magic 86-76 after losing to the Magic last month.
The Clippers took the floor without Chauncey Billups, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, or Jamal Crawford. The Magic were equally as short-handed, playing without starters Arron Afflalo, J.J. Redick, and Glen Davis. But based on how the Clippers had been playing the past three games, the odds did not look good.
But low and behold…Eric Bledsoe rose from his relative inexperience and stepped up his game. The last few games saw a growth in Bledsoe, as he was expected to fill the impossible shoes of CP3. He had a shaky transition becoming a starter, often playing a bit reckless and never really shooting as well as he should have. But Bledsoe got into a groove last night, leading the team with 27 points. But it wasn’t just on offense that Bledsoe stepped it up: he also had 6 steals (a stat that was also matched by Lamar Odom) and led the team with 3 blocks.
For the Clippers, Bledsoe led the team with 27 points and 6 rebounds. DeAndre Jordan followed with 13 points and 14 rebounds, and Ryan Hollins put up 13 points and 8 rebounds.
For the Magic, Jameer Nelson led the team with 18 points, and Nikola Vucevic followed with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Kyle O’Quinn contributed 10 points and 9 rebounds.
The Clippers have a day to rest before taking on the Miami Heat tomorrow. There are rumors that Paul, Griffin, Crawford, and Billups may all be back for the Miami showdown, which should prove to be a great matchup.