The Los Angeles Clippers (37-18) beat the Detroit Pistons (16-38) 131-124 last night at Staples Center for their 5th win in a row. Even though the Clippers were without Kawhi Leonard last night, this game should not have been this hard to win. The Pistons are one of the worst teams in the league but somehow they were able to give LAC a run for their money. They have some impressive wins on their resume’ this year, but still this should have been a blowout. The Clippers were very sound offensively, other than turning it over 16 times, but still found themselves down the majority of the game. No matter how good the Clippers were doing, the Pistons seemed to be doing just a bit better. No one from Detroit seemed to be able to miss.
Both their starting forwards Josh Jackson and Saddiq Bey went for 26 and 25 points on 10 out of 18 and 8 out of 12 shooting respectively. Ultimately the Pistons’ youth and inexperience caused them to be unable to close, as the Clippers were able to remain within striking distance and then pull ahead late in the game. Their defense finally kicking in the 4th quarter, along with some late 3 pointers got them a double digit lead and they were able to come away with an unnecessarily hard fought win. They ended their 9 game homestand 7-2.
STAR OF THE GAME
Marcus Morris Sr. and his 33 points, 6 rebounds, and a steal. Could very easily give it to Paul George for the 3rd game in a row with his 32 points, but it was Morris who shot better from the field. He made 13 out of 18 shots including 6 out of 8 from behind the 3 point line. Morris is the consummate top tier role player. If you need him to just play stout defense and rebound on a given night, he can do that. Then if you need him to give you 20+ points on another, he can do that too. Last night was the latter in the absence of Kawhi Leonard. He stepped up and took on the scoring load like it was no big deal. He was the man on his previous team, and he looked like that guy again last night.
The Clippers playing down to their opponents. The Clippers even though they have had some impressive wins lately, they have also had some head-scratching losses. They blew a game at home against the lowly Magic, and very nearly lost again last night. They were great on O last night, but did not play enthusiastically on D until late in the game. Sometimes the Clippers look disinterested, and do not consistently play up to the championship level that they should be at. They seem to be just going through the motions, like they expect to just win because it says so on paper. The Clippers have a target on their back, and are going to get their opponent’s best game every night. They need to be prepared for that, and beat the teams they are supposed to beat from the word go.
Ivica Zubac and his 13 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists and a block. We have come to expect a double-double from Big Zu pretty much every game, but the 7 assists were surprising. This was the closest he has ever come to getting a triple double. He is a good teammate and just wants to win, so he’s not the type of player to stat chase. Otherwise he very well could have gotten it. He was hitting open guys and they were actually making shots. Since as team they shot 63% from the field for the game, the assists were piling up for him. Zu has been the better of the teams centers all year, and he continues to show that he should remain the team’s starter even after Serge Ibaka returns from injury.
Vs Indiana Pacers, Tuesday April 13 at 4:30PM Pacific
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