Eric Gordon, guarded by J.J. Redick, puts up a shot. He scored 28 points in New Orleans’ victory over the Clippers on Friday/Photo by Associated Press
– The Clippers have been playing well, so it’s hard to take a shot at them. But to lose this one when New Orleans did not have forward Anthony Davis (groin injury) – one of the top players in the league – has to be tough for them to take. That was Davis cheering from the bench as his team was securing the victory. The Pelicans are 2 1/2 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, so they are very hungry.
– The setback cost the Clippers (32-15) in the Western Conference standings. They went from being tied for third with Houston and Portland to tied for fourth with Portland, now a game behind third-place Houston, 2 1/2 games behind second-place Memphis and 5 1/2 behind frontrunning Golden State.
– The Clippers did not guard the 3-point line as well as they could have. The Pelicans shot 52 percent (13 of 25) from beyond the arc and that is not going to cut it. Forward Ryan Anderson and guard Eric Gordon, in particular, torched the Clippers from there. Anderson made 5 of 11 from 3-point range and Gordon was 5 of 7 as he went for a game-high 28 points. The Clippers, on the other hand, made just 25 percent (7 of 28) from long-distance.
– One could also say the Pelicans won this game from the free-throw line. They shot 26 free throws and made 23 for a whopping 88.5 percent. The Clippers, one of the more inferior free-throw shooting teams in tne league, made 12 of 17 for 70.6 percent. DeAndre Jordan was 0 of 2.
– It’s difficult to take a lot of positives from a road loss against a middle-of-the-road team missing its best player. But Chris Paul had a terrific game. He scored a team-high 24 points with seven assists, eight rebounds and three steals while shooting 10 of 20.
BONUS TAKE: The Clippers were outrebouned 51-38 by a team that, again, was sans Davis, who averages a team-high 10.4 rebounds. DeAndre Jordan had 15, Blake Griffin only four. Remember, Paul had eight and at 6-foot he’s 10 inches shorter than Griffin.