Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Clippers 110, Wizards 103
By Arash Markazi
LOS ANGELES -- Doc Rivers didn't see Wednesday night's game as a home game and the end of the Los Angeles Clippers' seven-game trip. He saw it as the extension of the trip with the Clippers immediately boarding a flight to Oakland to play the Golden State Warriors in less than 24 hours.
"Before the trip started, we looked at this as a nine-game road trip, not a seven-game road trip, because that's what it is in a lot of ways," Rivers said.
Home or away, the Clippers have played solid recently, winning 12 of their past 15 games after Wednesday's 110-103 win over the Wizards.
The Clippers are now 11-3 without Chris Paul and could get their starting point guard back not long after returning from the longest "road trip" of the season.
How it happened: The Clippers led by a dozen points at the half and by 16 in the third quarter, but the Wizards made it a game in the fourth quarter though L.A. finally pulled away late to win its first home game since Jan. 15.
What it means: Rivers said he thought the Clippers would survive in Paul's absence, but their 12-3 record in January is beyond even his wild expectations. The Clippers haven't just held their position, they've increased their lead atop the Pacific Division and are just a game behind San Antonio and Portland for the second and third seeds in the West.
Misses: When Rivers replaced Jared Dudley with Matt Barnes in the starting lineup, he thought he'd be getting more production, but neither player has really produced lately. Barnes had only four points Wednesday and Dudley had five.
Stat of the game: The Clippers' streak of hitting 12 or more 3-pointers over the past three games was snapped Wednesday when they made 6-of-15 from beyond the arc.
Up next: The Clippers are back on the road Thursday to play the Golden State Warriors. The teams have split the first two games this season, with the home team winning each, but the bad blood between the teams will be the story going into the game. The end of their most recent meeting, on Christmas Day, was marred with a pair of fights and three ejections.