Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
- The Clippers were missing Jamal Crawford (calf) and Matt Barnes (hamstring) as well as Jordan Hamilton, who was not re-signed after his second 10-day contract expired because he currently can’t play because of a high ankle sprain. But is that why they nearly blew a 22-point lead? They led 63-41 two minutes into the third quarter, only to see the Hornets come within a point early in the fourth. No, that’s not it. Bottom line is, it was still too early in the game to say the Clippers may have been tired because they were thin. They just stopped playing well, plain and simple, and they admitted that. It’s something we have seen many times this season, and it’s something that is going to bite them in the post-season if they don’t knock it off. By the way, Charlotte (29-37) was coming off a 28-point loss (94-66) a night earlier at Utah. The Hornets should have been the tired ones.
- Blake Griffin was more aggressive offensively in his second game back after missing 15 with a staph infection in his right elbow. He scored 19 points with 11 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Griffin scored 15 of his points in the first half, shooting 7 of 9. He finished 8 of 12 from the field, taking only three shots in the second half. There was a point in the second half where Griffin threw up a shot and missed, then bent at the knees as if in pain.
- J.J. Redick continued his fine play. He scored 23 points on 10 of 17 shooting, though he did miss all four of his 3-point attempts. Still, he is now averaging 20.0 points in nine games this month. He’s averaging 15.4 on the season. He’s shooting a career-high 46.4 percent from the field, 41.9 percent from 3-point range – also a career best.
- Nate Robinson celebrated the signing of his second 10-day contract with his best game since joining the Clippers. He scored 12 points off the bench on 4 of 10 shooting, 2 of 5 from 3-point range. He entered the game shooting just 24.1 percent in five previous games with the team.
- Charlotte turned to the old hack-a-DJ with 4:20 left in the game. Over the next minute and a half, DeAndre Jordan was fouled on purpose three times. He made three of those six free throws and finished 6 of 12 (50 percent) for the night. That might not seem like much, but when considering Jordan shoots only 40.4 percent from the free-throw for the season, it’s not bad. Also, consider that when the Hornets began their intentional fouling, they were down by four points. When they finished, they were still down by four, so their ploy went for naught.