Monday night’s game didn’t offer the dunk-a-thon spectacular that we saw Saturday, but Blake Griffin will surely take it.
Eric Gordon iced the second win of the season for Los Angeles with two free throws in the final seconds as the Clippers defeated the previously 11-1 Hornets by a score of 99-95.
Griffin followed up his 44-point, 15-rebound effort with 24 points and 13 rebounds. The explosive rookie is now averaging 18.5 points and 10.9 boards for the season.
New Orleans came into the game tied with San Antonio for the league’s best record.
The Hornets got off to a hot start, as Chris Paul went three-for-three from beyond-the-arc to score 12 of the Hornets’ 37 first quarter points.
However, Paul would score just two points over the course of the final three quarters, as he struggled to find an offensive rhythm from that point on. He was unable to penetrate into the lane as he’s accustomed to doing, and it limited the Hornets’ normal offensive tendencies.
New Orleans ranks seventh in the league in three-point field goal percentage, but was just 6-20 from deep.
Outside of Griffin and Gordon (who scored 27 to lead Los Angeles), the Clippers were boosted by the respective performances of Al-Farouq Aminu and DeAndre Jordan.
Aminu, who appears to have replaced Ryan Gomes in the starting lineup, scored 16 points (all in the first half) and helped lead the second quarter charge that brought the Clippers to within two heading into halftime, after trailing by as much as 11 earlier in the period.
Jordan, starting for the injured Chris Kaman, scored 12 points, seemingly all on dunks, and also grabbed eight rebounds.
With a chance to tie in the waning seconds, Paul uncharacteristically misfired on a pass to David West under the rim, forcing the Hornets to foul on the ensuing inbounds play.
West led all scorers with 30 points. and also picked up 10 rebounds and five assists.
Clippers point guard Baron Davis sat out for the 11th time in 12 games, nursing a left knee injury.
Los Angeles improved to 2-13 on the season, and will host the Sacramento Kings on Thanksgiving night.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers.