Sunday, February 9, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Clippers 123, 76ers 78
By Arash Markazi
LOS ANGELES -- There isn't a mercy rule in the NBA, but with six minutes left in the third quarter of Sunday's game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers, it wouldn't have hurt to enact one.
With the Clippers leading 89-33 -- that's not a typo -- Philadelphia called a timeout and went on a 14-0 run that hardly put a dent in the Clippers' 56-point lead. In fact, nothing drove home how dominant the Clippers’ performance was than the fact that after the 76ers' 14-0 run, they still trailed by 42 points. In fact, the 45-point margin in a 123-78 win was the largest in Clippers history and the largest in the NBA this season.
Before the game, many wondered how Chris Paul would be incorporated into the lineup after missing over a month as the Clippers improved their winning percentage without their leader. The answer was definitive and altogether scary for the rest of the league after L.A.'s dominating win Sunday.
How it happened: Quickly. Very quickly. The Clippers jumped out to a 13-0 lead within the first three minutes and took a 31-point lead in the first quarter. Yes, the first quarter. Needless to say, they never looked back after that.
What it means: Yes, the 76ers are not a great team, but they have been a good offensive team -- ranking in the top half of the league in points -- and the Clippers completely shut them down while scoring at will. It was a dominating performance that could provide a glimpse of how scary the Clippers can be when they're healthy (even though they were without J.J. Redick on Sunday).
Hits: It was a game littered with hits, but Blake Griffin had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists despite suffering a left shin bruise. DeAndre Jordan had 10 points and 20 rebounds, and Jamal Crawford had 21 points.
Misses: It's hard to single out any misses in a game like this and we're not going to nitpick this one.
Stat of the game: The Clippers held the 76ers to just 27 percent shooting from the field as they made only seven of their first 50 attempts for 14 percent.
Up next: The Clippers will take Monday off, return to practice Tuesday and play the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday in their last game before the All-Star break. The Clippers are only 1 ½ games behind the Blazers for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. This is the second meeting of the season between the teams after the Blazers beat the Clippers 116-112 in overtime the day after Christmas in Portland.