It’s hard to think of a more dramatic way to finish a game, as the Los Angeles Clippers come up with a 129-127 win after looking comfortably in the lead, then out of the game completely and on top again thanks to some crunch time defense and great shooting from J.J. Redick, giving his best game to date for his current team.
Redick scored 33 points including seven 3-pointers, hitting six of them (and 23 of his points) during the first half. He was also involved in an incident with Dalembert during that half. The Dallas center seemed to fall on him (Redick claims Dalembert stepped on him intentionally). DeAndre Jordan was quick to pick Redick up, as the two joined the Clippers’ possession and Redick knocked down a 3-pointer.
The Clippers had a nine point lead with less than 3 minutes left in the third quarter, yet somehow managed to fall down a big rabbit hole, succumbing to a 32-6 run by the Mavs. The Clippers were down by 17 points with 4:35 left in the game, but ended on a 26-4 run. No shot in that run was bigger than Jamal Crawford getting the bump on Shawn Marion, the foul, which sent him to the line. That put up the Clippers 128-127 as Crawford (16 points, back to the bench) made the winning free throws.
Shawn Marion: It was like a playoff game the last three or four minutes. Everybody was mouthing back and forth and getting techs, and it became a brawl out there. But if you let that take away from what your main focus is; executing at both ends of the floor, then it’s going to take you out of your game. It was a difficult and a physical game. Some calls were suspicious, and it was just one of those games. So many things happened in those seven minutes. We have to keep some of their guys under control.
Doc Rivers: He was off-balance, he was going too fast and turning the ball over, yet you keep him in because he has ability to score. He can miss 20 in a row. He just needs to make one and he thinks he’s hot.
For some reason teams always pick on Blake Griffin. This one was no different. Or maybe it’s something he does. This time he and Samuel Dalembert got into a war of words that had the refs taking Griffin away from the action. They put him next to Dirk Nowitzki, who also start filling the air with less than sanitary words.
Not that it got in his way. The Los Angeles Clippers are doing quite well without Chris Paul, showing what a good job in finding the right players this offseason the management has done, and how Doc Rivers is helping this team forget about missing their best player. And Blake Griffin evolving doesn’t hurt as well, finishing with 23 points and 13 rebounds, but it was probably the 13-of-16 from the line that made the biggest impression.