Back on Track: LA Clippers Defeat San Antonio Spurs 106-92
After having their seven-game winning streak snapped, the LA Clippers wasted no time getting back into the win column. The Clippers took care of business at home on Tuesday night, defeating the San Antonio Spurs 106-92.
This game was not as easy as the final score indicated. The Spurs had a lead at one point during the 3rd quarter, but that was erased and buried by an insane sequence from Reggie Jackson. After committing a bad turnover, Reggie hustled back on defense and got a block. This led to him throwing a lob to Isaiah Hartenstein, and then closing out the frame with three buckets of his own. It wasn't the most efficient shooting night from Reggie, but he finished with 21 points, and that sequence to end the 3rd quarter felt like the dagger that San Antonio was never able to fully recover from.
Per usual, Paul George led all scorers in this one. PG poured in 34 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists in route to the win. He is now averaging 27 PPG, which is good for 3rd in the NBA, trailing only Kevin Durant and Steph Curry. He was able to hit some shots from the field and the line down the stretch of this game, and that helped hold off the comeback attempt from San Antonio.
George said postgame that some of the turnovers the team has committed have come because the Clippers have had a really condensed schedule so they haven't had much practice time. He added that there isn't any excuse for being sloppy with the ball, and he needs to be cut down the turnovers. George added, "I'm just getting better at not trying to force going to the rim the whole game. Just trying to find sweet spots throughout the game... Once I do that, I'll be more efficient"
Down Kawhi Leonard, Marcus Morris, Terance Mann, Serge Ibaka, Keon Johnson, Jason Preston, and Justice Winslow, the Clippers needed to rely on their youth in this game. In his first stretch of extended rotation minutes as a pro, Brandon Boston Jr. gave the Clippers 13 points and 4 rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench. When asked postgame about his approach, Boston said, "I'm just gonna go out there and get bucket."
Another notable trend for the Clippers this season, continues to be the positive impact of Luke Kennard. While he only shot five times in this game, Luke was a game-high +31. Kennard's +154 plus/minus this season is the 2nd best mark in the entire NBA, trailing only Steph Curry. When asked postgame about this development, head coach Ty Lue said that Luke is really big for what this team's second unit does, and his energy and shooting off the bench are incredibly valuble.
The Clippers got a much needed win in this one, as they improve to 9-5 and now embark on a stretch of six games that includes one against Memphis, two against Dallas, and one against Golden State. Their next matchup will come in Memphis against the Grizzlies on Thursday.