Rapid Reaction: Clippers 93, Knicks 80
November, 27, 2013
By Arash Markazi | ESPNLosAngeles.com
LOS ANGELES -- It was a sight the Los Angeles Clippers did not want to see as the final seconds ticked off the clock in their 93-80 win over the New York Knicks on Wednesday.
Chris Paul was sitting on the floor at the end of the Clippers' bench with his strained right hamstring heavily taped after sitting out for the most of the second half after sustaining the injury in the third quarter.
Luckily for the Clippers, Thanksgiving for the team came one day early when they were told the strain wasn't serious and Paul could have returned to the game if needed.
"I think he's doing fine," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "There was no chance he was coming back in. Of course he told me twice already that he'll be ready for Friday, that doesn't mean it's true. That's just what he said."
How it happened: The Clippers controlled the game for much of the second half after playing around with the Knicks in the first half. They probably could have put the game away early when they took a 40-29 lead in the second quarter, but then they allowed the Knicks to go on a 14-0 to take the lead before reclaiming the advantage again before halftime and leading the rest of the way.
What it means: The Clippers improved their record to 11-5, the best in the Pacific Division by two games and two games off the best record in the conference.
Hits: Blake Griffin had another double-double, finishing with 15 points and 13 rebound, and DeAndre Jordan had nine points and 13 rebounds. J.J. Redick and Paul also added 15 points apiece.
Misses: After having his best game of the season Sunday against Chicago, Jared Dudley struggled on Wednesday against the Knicks. He was 2-for-8 from the field and missed his first five 3-point attempts and finished with only five points and two rebounds.
Stat of the game: For the second straight game, the Clippers held their opponent to 82 points or fewer, showing they are improving defensively. "It's coming," Rivers said. "We're starting to get it."
Up next: The Clippers will fly up north after Thanksgiving to play the Kings in Sacramento, the third meeting between the teams this season. The Clippers won the first two meetings, but their last game in Los Angeles ended up being closer than expected. After taking a 20-point first half lead, the Clippes had to come back from five points down to beat the Kings, 103-102, with Paul hitting the go-ahead free-throw with 2.5 seconds left.