Rapid Reaction: Clippers 123, Pelicans 110
February, 24, 2014
By Arash Markazi | ESPNLosAngeles.com
NEW ORLEANS -- In the aftermath of the Los Angeles Clippers’ biggest win of the season, Chris Paul wouldn’t allow himself to get too high about beating the Oklahoma City Thunder when asked about the significance of the victory.
“We’ll see tomorrow night,” Paul said. “I’m dead serious, we’ll see tomorrow night. It’s a good win, but you can’t have a letdown tomorrow night going into New Orleans.”
A day later, the Clippers did not let down as they defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 123-110, to claim their second straight win and put themselves in a position to move up the playoff ladder with 23 games left in the season.
“It’s about building and building confidence,” Paul said. “And to keep trusting. It sounds simple but it’s tough. But as long as we play like that we give ourselves an opportunity to win."
How it happened: The Clippers were in control of the game from the midpoint of the first quarter and never trailed after that. They took a 19-point lead in the third quarter and never really looked back.
What it means: It means the Clippers have won two straight after dropping the first two games after the All-Star break. It was a nice win off a back-to-back when the Clippers could have still been riding high after beating Oklahoma City.
Hits: It was another big game for Blake Griffin, who had 22 points, extending his streak of 17 straight games of scoring at least 20 points. Jamal Crawford had 24 points and hit seven 3-pointers. DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 16 rebounds, and Paul had 19 points and 13 assists.
Misses: It was a solid night for the Clippers, even for their second unit, which had 32 points -- more than it had in the past two games combined. The only issue continues to be the defense as the Clippers gave up more than 100 points for the fifth straight game and eighth in their past nine games.
Stat of the game: The Clippers shot well from long distance against the Pelicans, hitting 16 of 28 3-pointers. The Clippers are now 25-0 when they make at least nine 3-pointers.
Up next: The Clippers finished up a difficult three-game road trip with a 2-1 record and a two-game winning streak before heading back home to play the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. The Clippers beat the Rockets in their first two games of the season in early November, but both teams have improved and look different since then.