Rapid Reaction: Bobcats 95, Clippers 91
January, 22, 2014
By Arash Markazi | ESPNLosAngeles.com
There was a familiar face on the Los Angeles Clippers' sideline before Wednesday's game against the Charlotte Bobcats.
After missing the past three games and the first half of the Clippers' two-week, seven-game trip, Chris Paul rejoined the team in Charlotte. His presence, however, couldn't help the Clippers at the end in a 95-91 loss to the Bobcats.
It was the Clippers' first "bad loss" of 2014 after going into the game at 8-2 in the new year, with the two losses coming against the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs on the second night of back-to-backs on the road.
It was also the first time since Paul was injured that they really missed their leader. Until this point, the Clippers won and lost the games they probably would have at full strength, but you have to imagine with a tie score in the fourth quarter, Paul's presence would have been able to get the Clippers over the top against the Bobcats.
How it happened: The Clippers shot just 9-of-27 in the final period as the Bobcats went up by seven and prevented the Clippers from taking a lead. They were able to tie it in the final minute, but the Bobcats went on a 6-0 run to put the game away.
What it means: The Clippers always missed Paul, but Wednesday was the first night they looked at the bench and wondered what could have been if he were healthy. They'll have to make do without him for another four weeks.
Hits: Blake Griffin had 27 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Jamal Crawford had 20 points and four assists off the bench. J.J. Redick had 15 points, and Darren Collison had his best game since injuring his left big toe, finishing with 12 points and five assists. DeAndre Jordan had 20 rebounds.
Misses: Matt Barnes started his second straight game in place of Jared Dudley but finished with only four points on 2-of-7 shooting. Dudley didn't do much better off the bench, finishing with five points on 2-of-8 shooting. And as good as Jordan was on defense, his four points are simply not enough on a night when the Clippers needed more production from the front line.
Stat of the game: The Clippers made only 6-of-26 3-pointers (23.1 percent) and kept on shooting it from beyond the arc despite missing most of them and the success Griffin was having in the paint.
Up next: The Clippers begin the stretch run of their trip by traveling to Chicago to take on the Bulls on Friday. The Clippers won 121-82 in their first meeting of the season in Los Angeles. Despite losing Derrick Rose for the season and trading away Luol Deng, the Bulls are 20-20 and are currently the sixth seed in the East.