The Clippers trailed almost the entire game and by double-digits from the mid-1st quarter on, losing in a rout to the Sixers at home in LA. Keep reading for a full recap of the Clippers’ loss to the Sixers.
The Clippers started the game up 5-0, but any hopes of a fast start quickly faded. The Clippers’ offense sunk back into the muck in which it’s lived the past few weeks, while the Sixers forced turnovers and scored easily in transition. A 19-2 spurt by the Sixers saw them claim an early double-digit lead. The offense picked up a bit with the second unit, in that they were able to get into the paint and find open shooters, but the shots still refused to fall. A brief 8-0 run cut a 21 point lead down to 13, but a Tobias Harris three to end the quarter saw the Sixers hold a 35-19 lead after one.
The Clippers’ second unit continued to play well, keyed on offense by Isaiah Hartenstein and Terance Mann’s aggression around the rim and on defense by Robert Covington. With great effort, the Clippers trimmed the lead down to 10. However, as soon as the starters returned, the Sixers regrew their lead in a flash, pushing it back to 18. At that point, halfway through the period, Zubac, Reggie, and Morris were a combined 0-15 from the field. Nic Batum had some inspired play to help the Clippers hang around, but Embiid and Harden were just unstoppable, and the Sixers went into halftime up 64-43.
Marcus Morris was on the bench to start the second half for rest purposes, and Terance Mann took his place. Reggie Jackson had a couple early buckets, forcing a Doc Rivers timeout. The Sixers quickly got back on track, and while they had some bad turnovers, were able to force some ugly ones by the Clippers in turn. The Clippers’ offense finally got going as the quarter went along, mostly led by Amir Coffey, but they simply could not stop Joel Embiid, and when they tried to get the ball out of his hands, the other Sixers hit their open threes. Despite a much improved offensive period, the Sixers’ lead actually grew by one, holding a 93-71 edge going into the final frame.
The fourth quarter was, essentially, garbage time. The Sixers kept Harden out there to start, no doubt remembering their huge blown lead earlier in the season, but his presence wasn’t really necessary, as the lid was once again on the Clippers’ basket. Brick after brick ended any remaining pretense of a comeback, and the game went along peacefully until its conclusion.
RoCo’s Defense: The Clippers’ defense was mostly ineffective in this one, but Robert Covington’s was not. The forward continued his brilliant play as a Clipper with five rebounds, a steal, and three blocks in just 24 minutes. Despite the game being a massacre almost from start to finish, the Clippers were a mere -1 in RoCo’s minutes, which might not mean much, but probably means at least a little bit. I understand that Marcus Morris and Nic Batum are ingrained veterans on this team, but when the games really matter in a few weeks, Covington should probably be playing 30+ minutes per game most nights.
DJ Sad: It’s tough to watch De’Andre Jordan these days. One of the most athletic big men ever to grace the NBA hardwood and a magnificent Clipper, DJ has lost most of his athleticism and can no longer protect the rim, throw down, or guard on the perimeter like he used to. Still a big body and with smarts, DJ remains a good rebounder, but that’s just about all he’s good for, and it’s not worth the rest of his warts. This is probably the last rodeo for DJ.
There’s really not much else to say about this one, so that will do it for this recap of Sixers’ dominant win over the Clippers. Commiserate in the comments below.