Blake Griffin's performance will be remembered for his first-half dustup with DeMarcus Cousins ... and little else. Besides his somewhat impressive activity on the boards and a few nice passes, Griffin almost had no impact on the game until he made shots late. There's no excuse for two free throw attempts. Jason Thompson looked more like the All-Star tonight.
Whenever Chris Paul chooses his spots, he's uncannily efficient. Tonight, however, he could not buy a basket. But being the two-way player that he is, he stepped up his defensive pressure, got out in transtion and used razor-sharp passing to disarm the Kings. At the same time, his role as team safety allowed rookie sensation Isaiah Thomas too many wide-open jumpers.
At this point, it's clear the Clippers should be jubilant they kept Eric Bledsoe over Al-Farouq Aminu. The second-year combo guard is the perfect change-of-pace player, turning the game around in the second quarter with his second-gear speed and lockdown defense. When he's making his jumper, which he did tonight, there's virtually no reason he shouldn't be starting.
The Clippers have had impressive wins, bad losses, and some ugly, grind-it-out victories. This was the latter. Neither team looked like they wanted to be there, but the Clippers ended up playing the less atrocious game. With 11 games remaining, Los Angeles should be rounding into playoff form, not blowing double-digit leads to lottery teams.
Despite being one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA, the Kings put together a reasonably defensive game plan tonight. Either that, or the Clippers just couldn't shoot. Cousins' presence inside was arguably Sacramento's biggest advantage over Los Angeles, but his hot-headed temper and proneness to fouls took him out of the game. At least this'll help with the pingpong balls.