The Los Angeles Clippers (27-16) defeated the Charlotte Hornets (20-21) handily last night by a score of 125-98 at Staples Center. The Clippers have been going pretty much every other game alternating between wins and losses lately, so after suffering a defeat in their last game in Dallas, they were due for a win. Right from the opening tip they were in control of the game, as they built an early lead and never looked back. They never trailed, and built the lead to as large as 31.
They were able to keep rising star LaMelo Ball in check at only 13 points, on 4 out of 12 shooting. Even after letting the Bugs have a nice 3rd quarter of 32 points, LAC still was able to win by a large margin of 27. The Clippers have not won two consecutive games since February, so now they can try and build off this solid W, and try and get on a winning streak come their next game tomorrow night.
STAR OF THE GAME
Paul George and his 21 points 5 rebounds and 10 assists. PG13 had been struggling for a stretch, and he broke out of it last night as he was hot from the field right from the start of the game. He made 8 out of 14 shots, including making 4 out of 8 from the 3 point line. He was also the designated playmaker for the team, as he was initiating the offense and distributing the ball well, racking up double digits in the assists column. This is the Paul George that Clipper fans want to see. When he has his head together and is at full health, he is an MVP caliber player.
He showed that last night as he was clearly the best player on the floor. We just need to see this level of play from him on a consistent basis. George needs especially to maintain it going into the postseason. We cannot have another repeat of last year. If he continues to play like he did last night, we won’t.
I am growing weary of going on about how paramount the health of the team is to long term success, so I won’t complain about it here after a nice blowout win. Even with having two starters out with Patrick Beverley (knee) and Serge Ibaka (back). The main thing is to validate this win by showing the same level of focus and energy tomorrow when the Atlanta Hawks come into town. They have been on a roll since they brought in a new head coach in Nate McMillan, winning 8 in a row.
They Clippers need to not have a letdown and break Atlanta’s winning streak by playing as good as they did last night and starting a streak of their own. The Clippers owe the Hawks one, as they suffered a tough loss against them in Atlanta when Paul George and Kawhi Leonard both sat out due to health and safety protocols. With both of them back in the lineup, they should be well poised to get that sweet vengeance.
Terance Mann and 16 points off the bench. I know he has been getting this nod a lot lately, but this kid just continues to get better and better. He is growing up before our very eyes. His growth has been exponential since the beginning of his career. Last night he looked not just like a solid NBA player, but a standout good one with All-Star potential. He was going 1 on 5 on the fast break, and finishing tough reverse layups in traffic. He was showing nice spin moves in the lane, and the confidence to go hard to the basket.
It should not be surprising anyone at this point that he is this good. What is surprising is the rate of his growth. This is only his second year in the league. If he can just develop into a solid shooter from range, he should be the starter for the team. He has shown improvement in that area of late, so it should not be too long until we see that out of him.
Vs. Atlanta Hawks, Monday, March 22, 2021 at 7:00PM Pacific
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CLIPPERS TAKE THE STING OUT OF THE HORNETS CLIPPERS TAKE THE STING OUT OF THE HORNETS CLIPPERS TAKE THE STING OUT OF THE HORNETS