- Arash Markazi, ESPN Staff Writer
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All they had to do was watch the first quarter of Sunday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, in which the Wolves scored 47 points, to know what was in store.
“After that first quarter I was going to hide under my bed,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “My gosh.”
The Clippers did a better job of containing the Wolves than the Lakers did, holding them to 26 points in the first quarter Monday and winning 109-107.
It’s the first time the Clippers have opened the season with three consecutive wins at home since 2006-07.
How it happened: After falling behind by as many as seven to Minnesota in the first quarter, the Clippers took control of the game in the second half, going up by as much as 11 in the fourth quarter. But this was a pretty close game throughout, and it wasn’t over until the Clippers stopped the Wolves on their final possession, when Kevin Martin’s jump shot over DeAndre Jordan missed and tip-in attempts by Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Love rimmed out.
What it means: The Clippers have won two straight after dropping two in a row on the road, and beat another playoff-contending team at home. It also shows how far their defense has come since the start of the season.
Hits: Blake Griffin was all over the floor, finishing with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. Chris Paul had 21 points and 11 assists, notching a double-double in every game he has played this season. Jordan finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Misses: J.J. Redick struggled with his shot behind the arc, hitting one of four shots and going just 3-of-7 in the game overall to finish with seven points. Jared Dudley has been a shell of himself lately with a bruised right knee. He struggled again Monday, finishing with just two points in 18 minutes.
Stat of the game: 41.7 percent. The Clippers' defense might have given up 107 points, but it held Minnesota to 41.7 percent shooting and 37.9 percent from the 3-point line.
Up next: The Clippers play the Oklahoma City Thunder for the first time this season on Wednesday at Staples Center. It’s a preview of what some think could be the Western Conference finals. The Thunder beat the Clippers in all three of their meetings last season; this season, Kevin Durant is averaging a league-high 30.2 points per game.