Chris Paul led the Clippers with 30 points in Wednesday’s 116-105 victory at Sacramento/:Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
– The Clippers received very little from their bench in this victory. Austin Rivers, Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Spencer Hawes all shot 1 of 4 from the field, meaning they were a combined 3 of 12. Nate Robinson was 2 of 3 for four points, but he played only 9 1/2 minutes. Well, when four of your starters each score at least 19 points – Blake Griffin and Hedo Turkoglu had 19 apiece, J.J. Redick scored 27 and Chris Paul 30 – the bench doesn’t need to score much.
– Speaking of Turkoglu, his 19 points were a season-high. He shot very well, making 7 of 12 shots overall, 5 of 10 from 3-point range. He made his second consecutive start in place of Matt Barnes (hamstring). He also played solid defense on Kings forward Rudy Gay, who made just 6 of 19 from the field to get his 23 points. “Tonight he looked like the defender that he was before,” Kings coach George Karl said. “When he was in his prime, his defense was pretty first class. I thought that he did a nice job on Rudy Gay tonight.”
– There is one thing that seems to have gone unnoticed regarding the return of Griffin. Remember how he had taken his game to the outside more than ever this season, thus resulting in his rebounding numbers being down? Well, he had 10 rebounds in this one, meaning he has had 11, 11 and 10 in his three games back. He’s averaging a career-low 7.7 for the season.
– What can we say about Redick? He had himself another fine outing with his 27 points. He shot 9 of 16, 7 of 12 from beyond the arc. Redick is now averaging 15.6 points while shooting 46.6 percent from the field, 42.4 percent (160 of 377) from 3-point range. All of those numbers represent career-highs. Redick is averaging 20.7 points in 10 games this month.
– So, had a few tweets and whatnot about why it was so difficult for the Clippers to put away a lowly team like the Kings, who are now just 22-45. The Clippers led just 87-86 with 8:07 to play. Yes, the Clippers were again without Barnes and Jamal Crawford (calf). But the Kings
were without All-Star post DeMarcus Cousins (calf) and have been without guard Darren Collison (hip) since early February. That said, keep in mind that the Clippers all season have had trouble maintaining focus throughout a given game. That’s still happening. Yet, they are 44-25 and tied for fifth-place in the Western Conference standings. The point being, if the Clippers can figure out their in-game lapses – and we realize that is “if” – they could be tough to deal with in the post-season.