Last night the Los Angeles Clippers (29-16) opened up a can of whoop-ass on the San Antonio Spurs (22-19), defeating them handily 134-101 at AT&T Center. The Clippers came out with intensity, still riding the momentum from their previous stunning comeback win on Monday. They got out to an early lead that they continued to build on throughout the game and never relinquished. The Spurs are well coached so they did try and make a few runs, but they were never able to get over the hump and their head coach Greg Popovich waived the white flag by pulling his starters fairly early in the fourth quarter.
The Clippers are 59-1 since 1984 when they get to 100 points in the 3rd quarter so Pop was probably well aware of that stat. The Clippers are still without several starters, but they did not miss them in this game as they won fairly easily, coasting to their 3rd win a row.
STAR OF THE GAME
The game ball goes to Kawhi Leonard for this one with his 25 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and a whopping 5 steals. Kawhi had some of his best years when he was on the Spurs. He won a couple of Defensive Player of the Year awards with them. As well as leading the way for them to their last championship back in 2014, being named Finals MVP. He left them on a bit of a sour note, and he appears to still feel sour about how things ended with them, because when he plays against his former team he plays with an intensity we don’t see how out of him all that often.
Kawhi has been a proponent of load management, and seems to conserve his energy during the regular season. He doesn’t seem to be conserving any when he plays San Antonio. That was the case last night as he was all over the place on both ends of the court. He was clearly the best player out there. If there’s 1 team Clipper fans hate losing to, other than the Warriors, it’s the Spurs. Kawhi made sure that didn’t happen last night.
The only thing that is on my mind right now as a concern has very little to do with the outcome of this game. They won by 33 shorthanded on the road against a team that in their overall history they have not fared well against. What is on my mind is the lingering trade deadline that is today at 12:00 pm Pacific Time. This morning on the all the sports talk shows, close to all the NBA analysts named the Clippers as the one team that desperately needs to make a big move. I am in full agreement. I am on the record for saying that they have a glaring need at upgrading at the point guard position.
They are a pretty damn good team right now, but I really think they need to address that need today if they want to go all the way. They are hard up against the cap, and seem to be lacking the assets of draft capitol or promising young players; but I am crossing my fingers that Lawrence Frank and Jerry West can pull a rabbit out of a hat today by somehow acquiring either Kyle Lowery or Lonzo Ball.
Marcus Morris Sr. and his 20 points. Morris since being moved back to the starting lineup has played fairly well, but I have to say this was probably his best game since doing so. He was knocking down 3 pointers consistently, making 5 out of 7 of them. Morris seemed to be roll his ankle a bit when he was fouled on a 3 point attempt as he came down on a defender’s foot. He took a little bit to get back up and go to the free throw line, but Morris is a tough guy who is not going to come out of a game very easily. Morris shook it off and was still able to go the rest of the game like nothing happened.
He put a bit of a scare in me for a minute there, because the last thing the Clippers need is to lose another starter. Morris is on the list of guys that could possibly get traded today. I would hate to see him go because the Clippers need his toughness, defensive prowess, and outside shooting. It’ll be up to the front office to decide if they just need a PG more. I am glad it is them making that decision and not me.
Vs. San Antonio Spurs, Thursday, March 25 at 5:30PM Pacific
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