The LA Clippers lost 118-100 to the Minnesota Timberwolves at Arena on Tuesday night in an embarrassing effort. Keep reading for a full recap of the game.


In quite possibly the most crucial game of the season (we’ve said this about many games), one of my bigger concerns was if this older Clippers team would treat it as such. Would they throw the first punch? Would they ditch the play-from-behind strategy? Could they actually figure out how to execute offense against one of the better defensive teams in the league? To my surprise, the answers to each of the above-mentioned questions were a resounding YES. 

Unlike the LA’s early-March matchup with Minnesota, everything clicked almost instantly. Behind a hot shooting start from Paul George and James Harden, the home team raced out to a 25-10, which grew to more than 20 by the middle of the second quarter. For the Clippers, the ball was hopping, shots were falling, and the energy was visible. Conversely, the Timberwolves, losers of two straight entering this contest, looked as lifeless and uninterested as ever and seemed ready to throw in the towel. But just as the game appeared to be broken open, a quick 10-0 Minnesota run (one of multiple) breathed some life back into the Timberwolves and redirected the course of this game.

Amidst the Wolves’ second-quarter flurry, reports surfaced that Kawhi Leonard had departed the Clippers bench and later left the arena entirely after experiencing back spasms. The series of events dealt the Clippers the dose of adversity they’ve proven incapable of dealing with appropriately. 

As usual, the Clips did what they’ve grown accustomed to doing in such situations, which is forget how to play basketball entirely. Turnovers, poor rebounding, and iso-ball spiraled this one out of control during the third quarter as Nickeil Alexander-Walker threw jabs, and Anthony Edwards fired off some haymakers to put the Clippers on the canvas. After an uninspiring 15-point third quarter left the Clippers down 84-78 heading into the final frame, Mike Conley Jr. got loose from beyond the arc and landed the final blows, leading to Ty Lue throwing in the towel just more than halfway through the fourth quarter.

The final seconds ticked away and the horn sounded with Minnesota walking away with both a dominant win and the season series. The Clippers, on the other hand, exit Crypto with the very real possibility of losing position for homecourt advantage. 


Leonard Injury:
As annoying as this loss was, the bigger and more important outcome of this affair was Kawhi Leonard leaving the game after just 12 minutes of play. The Clippers were playing well while he was out there but couldn’t figure things out once the adult left the room (the arena, actually). We probably won’t get much info regarding the injury or clarity on the timeline, so all we can do is hope the injury isn’t something that’ll linger for a while. It’s quite clear that LA can’t function without his services.

A Common Theme:
This Clippers team has a disturbing tendency to let go of the rope completely. And for a team with so many seasoned vets, one of the better coaches in the game, and some of the game’s elite talents, it’s hard to fathom how they can get spooked so easily. Post-ASB alone, the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, and now Minnesota Timberwolves have all come back from large deficits to not only beat the Clippers but embarrass them entirely in the process. My question is: when’s someone going to step up and say enough is enough?

Big Picture:

The Clippers are in trouble. Buckle up!

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