NBA Monday: Clippers Take Show on the Road; Beat Spurs 92-87
The Los Angeles Clippers took their five game win streak on a four game road trip this week after playing seven of he first nine games at home, and also one of their two road games in their home building. First stop, the San Antonio Spurs. Both teams came into the game with impressive records. The Clippers were 7-2 while the Spurs were 8-2. On of the Spurs two losses was an 18 point shellacking by the Clippers earlier in the month at Staples Center.
Could the Clippers take their high flying act outside the state of California and beat a good team? That was the question being asked as this week started. Apparently, they can. Chris Paul turned in a 19 point and eight assist performance to lead the Clippers while Blake Griffin added 16 points and 12 rebounds. Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 20 points and 14 rebounds while Tony Parker chipped in 11 and Manu Ginobli added 15 points.
The decisive quarter for the Clippers was the second when they outscored the Spurs 29-14, holding the Spurs to three field goals in the period. The Spurs rallied late in the game, pulling to within three points at 88-85 with two minutes left on the strength of two Matt Bonner three pointers. But Paul made a runner with just under 25 seconds left to put the Clippers up 91-87. A missed Spurs three pointer was rebounded by Eric Bledsoe and he was fouled immediately. He stepped to the line and hit two free throws, essentially putting the game out of reach. Bledsoe ended the game with nine points and five rebounds.
The Clippers next game is Wednesday at the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Spurs next game is also on Wednesday at the Boston Celtics.
In other NBA action on Monday, the Memphis Grizzlies had their win streak snapped by the Denver Nuggets 97-92. Danillo Galinari led the Nuggets with 26 points as the Grizzlies lost for the first time since opening night, a streak that lasted eight games.
The Washington Wizards remained winless with a 96-89 loss to the Indiana Pacers. The Wizards are now 0-9 and appear to be this season’s Charlotte Bobcats. The Bobcats are no longer doormats as they were last season. They ran their record to 5-4 with a win over the Milwaukee Bucks, 102-98. The Bobcats need only two more to equal last season’s win total when they went 7-59.
The Orlando Magic are also on their way to being one of the NBA’s doormats this year, losing to the Atlanta Hawks 81-72 to drop to 3-7. The Hawks are now 5-4. . Al Horford led the Hawks with 15 points while Lou Williams added 14. The Utah Jazz beat the Houston Rockets 81-72. Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 15 points and Al Jefferson added 14 points and 16 rebounds.
The Golden State Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks 105-101 in overtime. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 31 points, 20 of them after the end of the third quarter. The Warriors are now 6-5 while Dallas fell to 6-6.