Here are the facts, and you can draw your own conclusions about the depth and quality of the Los Angeles Clippers. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin combined for only 23 points, and the Clippers still beat the Boston Celtics by 29 points. These 15 wins in a row aren’t here because of superstars taking their game to another level.
Shows we have a lot of depth. I’ve probably sat out more fourth quarters this season than any of my previous seven seasons. It’s a really good feeling now, a good vibe because everyone is enjoying it. Some people may be impressed by the record, but we can’t be. We’re not measured by our regular-season wins. We want to be winning in April, May and June.
This winning streak is as much about Griffin and Paul dominating on offense and defense during the first quarter as it is about the revelation of how good the Clippers’ bench is. Matt Barnes led the scoring with 21 points, averaging 11 points this season and 17.3 points over the last four games.
It’s about Lamar Odom rebounding from the worst season in his career, and finding a purpose and passing for basketball once again. He finished with only 4 points against the Celtics, but along with Ronny Turiaf, he’s turned the second front line for the Clippers into a fantastic unit, giving them the kind of backup Griffin and Jordan didn’t have last season. Odom added 15 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks, and is contributing so much this season in way more than scoring.
It was the Clippers’ largest-ever win against Boston, coming six years to the day of their previous largest, a 100-77 win on Dec. 27, 2006. This was another game in which the Celtics weren’t happy about their toughness and giving too much respect to their opponents. Truth be told, the 2012-2013 version of the Boston Celtics, despite the wonderful Rajon Rondo, are just inferior to all the versions since the 2007-2008, not having the physical ability to be “tough” every game or the quality and basketball IQ to make up for it.
As always with Celtics games (who often blame it on the other teams), things got a little bit physical. Jared Sullinger was called for a flagrant-1 foul for grabbing the front of Griffin on his way up to dunk. Caron Butler and Paul Pierce had their moment fighting for a ball. Rajon Rondo was lying on a ball and Chris Paul tried to take it away from him, leading to a testy moment.
There was no battle of the best point guards in the NBA. Paul finished with 8 points and 11 assists, sitting out the final period once again. Radjon Rondo didn’t have much to play for as well, but was terrible from the field, finishing with 10 points and 6 assists. There wasn’t too much team about the way the Celtics played basketball, and in individual ability, there is no chance they’re going too far this season.
The Clippers are assured of finishing December as their best month ever with two games remaining, including the second half of a back-to-back at Utah. They’ve already surpassed the franchise record for most wins in a month, bettering the old mark of 12 shared by the 1974-75 Buffalo Braves and the 1991-92 Clippers.