The Los Angeles Clippers Revenge Loss to the Portland Trailblazers
By G. George, IVN Sports Writer Los Angeles, CA- On Sunday night the Los Angeles Clippers looked to revenge their loss to the Portland Trailblazers of 101 – 100, in Portland on Saturday. Therefore, with the script flipped as the Trailblazers now in L.A. looked to complete the back-to-back series contest. After losing the heartbreaker, the Clippers played with a greater intensity as they definitely needed a win in order to end their four-game losing streak. Without Chris Paul (bruised right kneecap) in the lineup, it would be upon the shoulders of Eric Bledsoe to lead the team as the point guard. Coach Del Negro said, “Bled is out there as the point guard, so he’s got to quarterback the team.”
The Clippers didn’t waste any time establishing their home-court dominance as they lead 33 – 27 after the first quarter. It was the scoring attack of Caron Butler with 8 points that got the team off to a good start. In the second quarter, it was the dominate scoring performance of Blake Griffin with 11 points that kept them on top. However, the Trailblazers managed to outscore the Clippers 23 – 22, as they only trailed 50 – 55 to end the half.
In the third quarter, the Clipper put the game away as their defensive effort held the Trailblazers to only 12 points, while they scored 23 points. Now with a comfortable 16 point lead to start the final quarter, coach Del Negro was able to rest his starters (except Bledsoe 2:24) and allowed the bench players to secure the victory as they defeated the Trailblazers 96 – 83. What a difference a day makes as the Clippers played inspired basketball improving their record to 33 -13, (3rd best in NBA). “We needed any win right now, said coach Del Negro after losing four straight…We played with intensity tonight.” The scoring was lead by Blake Griffin with 23 point, 9 assists, and 5 rebounds. “Blake with nine obviously started kind of like a point-forward for us tonight, said coach Vinny Del Negro regarding the team’s 33 assists. “Moving the basketball was obviously a key offensively, but more so I thought we were locked in better defensively which translated to sharper offensive execution.” The Clippers had a balance scoring attack: Butler 12, Bledsoe 10, and Crawford 9. As for Lamar Odom, he had 8 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 assists. Lamar is definitely on his way back to being a top performer as he played the most minutes for the team with almost 29 minutes. “Winning plain and simple; just win games,” said Odom. “All we want to do is win and do the right thing. We have so many players on this team and so much talent and it is our focus to be the best team in the NBA.”
As for the Trailblazers, their scoring was led by LaMarcus Aldridge with 21points and 11 rebounds. The top candidate for “Rookie of the Year,” Damian Lillard, scored 16 points, and J.J. Hickson added 15 points.
The Clippers will take to road for an eight games and return on February 13.