The LA Clippers pulled off what was perhaps their best game of the season with a wire to wire 119-97 win over the visiting San Antonio Spurs.


For the second straight game, Kawhi Leonard was in the starting lineup and the Clippers got off to a great start. They built up a 22-12 lead early and ended up ahead 40-22 at the end of the first quarter. The Spurs managed to chip away at the Clipper lead in the second quarter and at one point had it down to 49-40, but the behind a three-point barrage, the Clippers went into halftime with a 64-48 lead.

Through the third quarter, the Clippers continued to pour it on and they reached their season-high of 18 made three-point shots. The fourth quarter was more of the same with the bench being emptied and the rotation players getting rest ahead of Monday’s game against the Utah Jazz.

After the game, Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue was pleased with what he saw on the court.

“Today was probably the best game we’ve played all season,” Lue said. “When our team is playing like that, they double-team Kawhi, he moves the ball, easy passes, simple passes. We got open shots, we drove to the basket, they collapsed and we made the right play.”

Helping power the Clippers offensive attack was John Wall who had nine assists in only six minutes of play in the first quarter. He would finish the game with 15 assists becoming only the third player in Clippers history alongside Gary Grant and Pooh Richardson to have at least 15 assists off the bench. He also was the first Clipper since Chris Paul to have 15 assists in a game.

He moved the ball well and consistently looked for the open teammate. He attacked the rim and kicked the ball out to the open shooters. He even played alongside Reggie Jackson for stretches, a pairing that Lue has experimented with at times this season.

Wall mentioned after the game that he enjoys playing in the backcourt with Jackson.

“If I get tired at some point, he’ll take the lead and handle the ball. But mainly when we’re in there together, he wants me to be the point guard and run the team and put guys in position,” Wall said. “It’s a dynamic of both us not really caring who is starting, who is getting the most minutes, just trying to feed off each other and whatever is the best role for what this team needs.”

Leading the way for the bench in scoring was Norman Powell who scored a season-high 26 points and was the recipient of a few of those passes from Wall. He shot 5-8 from three-point range and added two steals as well.

Powell had started off the season struggling a bit and not looking as comfortable as he has in recent games. He’s settling in now and he kind of attributes that to not really caring about his individual numbers so much anymore and just completely focused on whatever the team needs him to do.

“We have a team deep and we’re just trying to play off each other. Whatever the game dictates, each game can be so different,” Powell said. “It’s just trying to do what the team needs and take myself out of the things that I want or desire and worked for, it’s about winning. . .It’s not as much as what I’m trying to prove anymore, it’s just going out there and helping the team win. Whether that’s me scoring or playing defense or being the guy on the bench talking about what I see out there. Whatever the teams needs me to do, I’m going to go out there and do.”

The only real blemish of the game was Paul George unable to play the second half due to knee soreness. But after the game, George shared a postgame moment with Clippers owner Steve Ballmer during which he exclaimed that he was fine. The team as a whole didn’t seem to be alarmed and he is set to play on Monday.

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