If you still think the Clippers’ winning streak isn’t a big deal — and who would really still be thinking that as they go for their 18th in a row Tuesday night in Denver? — then consider that there have been entire seasons when they didn’t win that many games.
Seven of them, in fact.
It’s hard to imagine now, with the Clippers riding the wave of a 17-game winning streak after a 107-96 victory Sunday over the Utah Jazz at Staples Center, but coach Vinny Del Negro was sitting on a rather hot seat going into 2012-13.
Because the Clippers assembled the most talented roster in their history during the offseason and because expectations were higher than ever before after a second-round playoff appearance last spring, Del Negro’s future beyond this season was in doubt.
If you missed any or all of the chatter last night on TNT, here are a couple of thoughtful comments about the Clippers before, during and after their rout of the Boston Celtics. The victory was the league-leading Clippers’ 15 consecutive.
Charles Barkley on how to beat the Clippers: “I don’t like their half-court offense. As long as they are running and dunking, they will be tough to beat. But if you slow them down and make them walk the ball up and down the court, I think that’s going to be their bug-a-boo.”
First at last. The Clippers have been the NBA’s hottest team for days and weeks now. They finally moved atop the league’s overall standings with a resounding 112-100 victory Tuesday night over the Denver Nuggets in front of a raucous sellout crowd of 19,346 at Staples Center.
The victory extended the Clippers’ franchise-record winning streak to 14 games and they improved their overall mark to 22-6, a half-game better than second-place Oklahoma City. The Thunder (21-6) lost earlier in the day to the defending NBA champion Miami Heat.
After defeating the Detroit Pistons on Monday night for their 10th consecutive victory, a record for the Los Angeles Clippers and one win away from the franchise’s all-time mark, the team took a break from practice Tuesday. Matt Barnes, a backup forward, wrote on Twitter that he was looking forward to sitting on the couch and watching TV.
Then his TV went out. Bummer.
Next: the Clippers go for their 11th consecutive victory when they face the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday at Staples Center. The Hornets, who are soon to be known as the Pelicans, handed the Clippers their last defeat. New Orleans beat the Clippers on Nov. 26. The Clippers have beaten Minnesota, Sacramento, Utah, Dallas, Phoenix, Toronto, Chicago, Charlotte, Milwaukee and Detroit since then.