Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
- Blake Griffin called this “a big win for us.” He’s right in as much as every victory is big this time of season because the Clippers are trying to get as high in the standings as they can for playoff-seeding purposes. The Clippers improved, in a way, with this win because record-wise, they now have the fourth-best in the Western Conference at 46-25. But Portland, which has the fifth-best record of 44-24, is still technically in fourth because it leads the Northwest Division. Check the conference standings right here and you’ll see that their better record notwithstanding, the Clippers are still listed in the No. 5 spot. That said, I was told today that if the Clippers played the Trail Blazers as the No. 5 seed to Portland’s No. 4 – and the Clippers had the better record – they would still get homecourt advantage. Confused?
- Griffin scored 23 points on 10 of 21 shooting. Those were the most shots he’s taken in five games since returning after missing 15 games with a staph infection in his right elbow. He has taken more shots in each game along the way, going from 10 to 12 to 16 to 19 to 21.
- What a terrific all-around game by Chris Paul. He scored 23 points on 8 of 19 shooting with 11 assists, seven rebounds and four steals. He had just two turnovers in 37 1/2 minutes and made 7 of 8 from the free-throw line. His only real blemish was his 0-for-4 shooting performance from 3-point range. Can’t have everything.
- J.J. Redick scored 20 points on 7 of 16 shooting – 3 of 6 from 3-point range. That was Redick’s fourth consecutive game of scoring 20 points or more. He has scored at least 20 points in seven of the 12 games this month, during which he’s averaging 21.2 points.
- It would be unfair if we didn’t mention that New Orleans was missing several key players in this game. Yes, the Clippers were without sixth-man Jamal Crawford and his 16.4 scoring average for the 10th consecutive game. But the Pelicans were minus guards Tyreke Evans (16.5 points per game) and Jrue Holiday (15.2), forward Ryan Anderson (14.6) and center Omer Asik (10.0 rebounds per game). All were injured.