Rapid Reaction: Clippers 108, Pelicans 76
March, 1, 2014
By Arash Markazi | ESPNLosAngeles.com
LOS ANGELES -- Five days after the Los Angeles Clippers played the New Orleans Pelicans in the Crescent City, the result wasn’t much different in their return engagement at Staples Center.
The Clippers beat the Pelicans 108-76 to claim their fourth straight victory and remain within a game of the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.
How it happened: The Clippers took a 25-8 lead in the first quarter and never really looked back. They were ahead by as many 35 points. The Pelicans never led and never cut the Clippers' lead to lower than double digits after the midway point of the first quarter.
What it means: The Clippers have won four straight after dropping the first two games after the All-Star break and are a game out of the No. 3 seed and just 2½ games out of the No. 2 seed. The Clippers also hold a four-game lead atop the Pacific Division.
Hits: It was another big game for Blake Griffin, who had 20 points and five rebounds, extending his streak to 19 straight games of scoring at least 20 points. Chris Paul had 21 points and eight assists, while DeAndre Jordan had seven points and 12 rebounds.
Misses: The Clippers got contributions from everyone on the bench, but Jared Dudley continues to struggle this season. He hit only one of his five attempts and missed all three of his 3-point attempts. It was another example of why he is now on the bench and why the Clippers felt the need to upgrade the small forward position with the addition of Danny Granger, who was not active on Saturday because his name was inadvertently not circled on the active list.
Stat of the game: The Clippers hit their magic number of nine from long distance on Saturday. The Clippers are now 26-0 when they make at least nine 3-pointers.
Up next: The Clippers have a couple of days off before going on the road Tuesday to play the Phoenix Suns. The Clippers lost their first game against Phoenix 107-88 on Dec. 30. This will be a big game in the Pacific Division, as Phoenix is just five games behind the Clippers and could possibly play them in the first round of the playoffs.