The LA Clippers used a second half rally to get a 112-106 win against the Detroit Pistons.
Usually the weekend matinee games mean a sleepwalking start for the LA Clippers. The pattern was reversed for Saturday’s win against the Detroit Pistons.
The Clippers started off the game on a 12-2 spurt and forced the Pistons to call the first timeout of the game. But following that start was when the sluggishness began.
The Pistons countered with a 12-2 run of their own to tie the game up and by the end of the first quarter the Clippers only held a 31-30 lead.
The second quarter was the sleepwalk the Clippers have been known to come out with during matinee games. The Pistons looked like the more focused, more disciplined team. They took advantage of the Clippers turnovers and poor defense allowing them to get clean looks from three-point range.
The Pistons led 58-49 at the half and it turned into the exact kind of game that Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue was worried about.
“Like I told you before the game, this team is playing fast, they’re playing well together, they execute and they like attacking the basket, attacking the rim especially with [Jaden] Ivey,” Lue said after the game. “They really put a lot of pressure on us.”
While the Clippers managed to close the gap in the third quarter, a buzzer-beating layup from Shake Milton to close the period took some of the sails out of their momentum.
In the fourth quarter though, Lue opted to go with a small lineup that featured Amir Coffey and it paid off. Coffey came off the bench to score 12 points, shot 2-5 from three-point range and 4-4 from the free-throw line.
“Just being able to spread the floor, Amir was huge for us,” Lue said. “Just being able to switch one through five, being able to rebound the basketball, and then just attack defensively. They double-teamed and now we have five guards on the floor, we got shots, were able to drive closeouts and so it helped us out a lot.”
Paul George was huge in the fourth quarter as well using a big thrown down in the lane that resulted in an and-one and helped spark the Clippers final rally. He also knocked down a pair of three-point shots that blew the game open. He finished with 33 points including 15 in the fourth.
-Norman Powell went down in the fourth quarter after taking an elbow from Jalen Duren causing a lot of blood flow. He was ultimately able to get up but had to be helped very gingerly to the locker room. Ty Lue said that Norm would be fine and just needed some stitches.