Chris Paul had 19 points and the Clippers beat the Spurs 98-87 Saturday night in San Antonio.
This was the fifth straight victory for the Los Angeles Clippers who are now tied with the Utah Jazz for the fourth seed and home-court advantage in the first round playoff series. Utah lost to the Trailblazers on Saturday night.
Even if the Clippers don’t win home-court, they showed they can win tough games on the road on Saturday by taking out the Spurs, a team that has only lost ten times this season at AT&T Center.
Granted there wasn’t much on the line for San Antonio since they’ve already secured the No. 2 seed and the first-round matchup against the seventh-seeded Memphis Grizzlies. But I imagine every team wants to enter the playoffs playing confidently and focused. We saw that on Saturday with the Clippers – not so much with the Spurs.
Chris Paul was the leader on the floor both offensively and defensively for the Clippers. He had 19 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. Blake Griffin added 18 points and eight rebounds. For the second straight game, DeAndre Jordan owned the boards grabbing 17 rebounds to go along with his 17 points.
Most impressively, the team had only eight turnovers while shooting 50% from the field and coach Doc Rivers seemed very pleased with the direction of his team telling the LA Times,
"Whether we had won or not tonight, I like how we’re playing. I like how we’re growing. I did like this game in particular tonight because I thought both teams wanted to win the game.”"
At a time when most teams are locked into their playoff spots, the Clippers are still fighting for the No. 4 seed and home-court advantage. But more importantly, because of all the injuries they suffered this season which took valuable playing time away from the Big Four, the team needs to keep their foot on the gas and stay focused – and show their fans AND themselves who they REALLY are as they enter the playoffs.
Up next is another test for LA when they host Houston at home on Monday night. Can you imagine what it will do for their confidence if they follow up this Spurs’ victory with one over the Rockets?