A lot happened with the Clippers’ roster between our preview and this recap. The biggest news, of course, was the trading of Lou Williams for Rajon Rondo. As if that was not jarring enough, Kawhi Leonard (sore foot) and Marcus Morris, Sr. (calf contusion) were late scratches. That left us with the following starting five: Reggie Jackson, Paul George, Terance Mann, Patrick Patterson, and Ivica Zubac. Somehow, the Clippers won in a gritty 98-85 game. Check out the full game recap of the Clippers’ win over the Spurs below!
The Clippers came out steady and finished the first quarter with a three point lead. Although they shot poorly to start (41% FG% and 30% 3PT%), they out-rebounded the Spurs — including five first quarter offensive rebounds — and took advantage of the extra possessions. Reggie Jackson led the team with 12 first-quarter points and Paul George added seven. The Spurs were led by DeMar DeRozan, who had eight. Overall, those three led the scoring attacks for both teams throughout the game.
The Clippers’ poor shooting got worse in the second quarter and the Spurs took advantage, taking a 55-49 lead going into the half. The Clippers “bench,” which was just Kennard, Batum, and Coffey tonight, started the night cold and was responsible for giving up the lead. Notably, though, Amir Coffey had eight first half points on 3/5 shooting (2/4 from three). As the Clippers’ broadcast noted during the game, he looked confident and comfortable on the court, which was nice to see and a good sign for the development staff.
The third quarter went very well for the Clippers but was extremely odd from an objective perspective. The Clippers continued to shoot poorly from the field but they also continued to out-rebound the Spurs, so they were able to claw back and earn a four point lead. Also, it didn’t hurt that the Spurs only came up with 13 third-quarter points.
The Clippers put the Spurs away with free throws and a Reggie Jackson explosion in the final frame. Specifically, Reggie scored 16 points in the fourth quarter alone, including three shots from deep. Overall, the Clippers took care of business in a knuckleball of a game, largely due to their defense and rebounding.
Paul George Shows Inconsistencies: PG filled the stat sheet — 24pts, 13rbs, and 4ast — but only shot 10/28 from the field. He only took five three-point attempts and missed a lot of shots at the rim. I was happy to see him on the attack but he needs to come a little harder if he wants to finish at a higher efficiency (and get more fouls).
Reggie Jackson Dominated: “What do we need Rondo for?” — Reggie in the fourth quarter. In all seriousness, Reggie was efficient and played hard tonight. He had a season-high 28 points on 8/16 shooting (5/10 from three). It was nice to see the Clippers second-tier players step up to help beat a respectable team.
That about does it for this recap of the Clippers’ second game against the Spurs. Stay tuned for Lucas’ player grades and a new episode of TLTJTP focused on the Rondo trade!