It wasn’t pretty, but for the streaking Los Angeles Clippers, a win is a win.
Led by 19 points apiece from Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Matt Barnes, the Clippers extended their winning streak to a franchise record-tying eight games with a 100-94 triumph over the Charlotte Bobcats Wednesday night.
L.A. led by as many as 10 points midway through the final quarter, but was never able to truly put away the Bobcats, who dropped their ninth consecutive game to fall to 7-14 on the season.
Byron Mullens led Charlotte with 19 points and eight rebounds of his own, and Kemba Walker also scored 17.
The Bobcats had every opportunity to win this game, as the Clippers struggled repeatedly to convert on easy opportunities around the basket. Unfortunately for them, they went ice cold from the floor during the fourth quarter, and couldn’t get closer than within five points of L.A. during the final nine minutes of the game after cutting the deficit to 81-78.
The last time the Clippers won eight straight games was during the 1991-92 season. They’ll look to set a new franchise mark when they take on the Bucks in Milwaukee on Saturday.
Lamar Odom continued his steady improvement, as well, grabbing nine rebounds along with five points, three blocks, two steals and two assists.
The Clips’ bench as a whole once again outscored the opponent, this time by a 45-37 margin, led by Barnes’ 19 and 13 from Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe also grabbed eight rebounds.
Jamal Crawford scored just nine points, marking the first time this season Crawford has failed to crack double-digit scoring. He leads all reserves in scoring on the season at 17.1 points per game.
Throughout the game, L.A. would enjoy mini-runs offensively, making it appear as though they were pulling away from Charlotte. However, the Bobcats would invariably counter with a surge of their own, keeping the game relatively tight throughout.
The Clippers were able to dictate the pace of the game in the first half, scoring 10 transition points, compared to zero for the Bobcats. That trend completely flipped in the second half, however, with the Bobcats scoring 17 points on the break compared to just six for the Clips.
Offensive rebounding was also a key for Los Angeles, as they matched a season-best with 17 boards on the offensive end, 1o of which came from Barnes, Bledsoe and Odom.
Chris Paul, a North Carolina native, dished out 10 assists and grabbed five boards in what is essentially a homecoming game. The 10 dimes were two more than he’d totaled in his previous two games combined. He shot just 5-13 from the field, but hit a crucial three-pointer and helped ice the game with four free-throws in the final minute.
The win moved the Clippers to 16-6 on the year, just ahead of the surprising Warriors for the Pacific Division lead.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers, and covers the Los Angeles Dodgers for ProSportsBlogging.com.