It seems that with each win, the Los Angeles Clippers set another record or milestone in the underachieving franchise’s history, having to thank the ping pong ball that brought Blake Griffin to the team, followed by the trade that allowed the even more important Chris Paul to arrive, making them feel, for the first time ever, that anything less than a conference semifinal in the NBA playoffs will be a huge disappointment.
When two of your players finish quite close to triple doubles without having to play in the fourth quarter, you know it was a good day. Blake Griffin scored 19 points, adding 8 rebounds and 7 assists, while Chris Paul scored the same amount, adding 7 rebounds, 11 assist and 4 steals, as always providing the right kind of motivation and crunch to Clippers players as they kept running just a bit too fast for the Minnesota Timberwolves to catch up with, finishing with a 111-95 win.
It’s the Clippers 31st home victory this season, another franchise record, breaking the old mark of 30 wins by the 1974-75 team, when it was known as the Buffalo Braves, improving to 31-9 at home, with the chance to finish the year with a 56-26 record if they win their final four games. The important thing is winning enough to get home advantage in the first round of the playoffs, although at the moment, despite being the fourth seed thanks to their division title, it’s looking like a series without it against the Memphis Grizzlies, a repeat of last season.
Leading the entire game and letting the second unit takeover for the final 12 minutes was just as important, seeing as the Clippers finish the season with three games on the road, including two back-to-backs segments, meaning Paul and Griffin are going to need and get every minute of rest possible, especially with a trip to Memphis against the Grizzlies lined up for them in what might be the only game on their remaining schedule with against a team that actually needs a win.
This is the best team the Clippers have ever had – their two most talented players plus a deep squad that seems to be clicking once again after a few months that were kind of indecisive and inconsistent especially on the defensive end, coming together nicely once again.
The past three games our defense has been really good. We’re talking a lot more and the energy picked up. When me and him are on the same page, everybody else has no choice but to fall into line.