Typically, the 76ers haven’t had much luck against the LA Clippers over the past few years. The Clippers were an offensive buzz saw that tore through the league with their blistering offense in years past and the Sixers were unfortunate victims to multiple embarrassing blow outs. But this year has been very different!
Today’s match up put the depleted Sixers up against a healthier Clippers team. It would have been easy for this game to turn into a laugher early but credit to the Sixers for keeping this game competitive until the end.
Neither team did a good job defensively in the first half. Thankfully, the Clippers were missing their share of open shots which allowed the Sixers to remain close and eventually take a 13-5 run into halftime up 57-56. The Sixers were heavily reliant on the 3 point shot during that half going 9-19 from beyond the arc.
The Sixers big men made an impact on today’s game, something I did not expect after struggling so much against big men over the past 2 weeks. Jahlil Okafor had a “quiet” game which is actually a good thing. It’s noticeable how much better he is offensively when he isn’t the focal point. The occasional post-up is fine, especially with mismatches. But letting him work within the flow of the offense is so much more effective for him.
The other big guy Richaun Holmes also participated in the fun, pouring in points from all areas of the floor and ending with a career-high 24 points. His defense is still a work in progress, however. As a bench energy guy, performances like today make you feel more optimistic about his prospects moving forward.
The fourth quarter started off poorly for the Sixers, unfortunately. The offense was disjointed and the defense was porous as the Sixers back ups couldn’t match up against the Clippers’. The game stayed close through the quarter as starters from both teams started to trickle back in.
In the end, the Sixers were just unable to overcome the firepower of the Clippers as Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and crew (Refs included!) were just too much to contain in the last few minutes. All things considered, it was a hard fought battle and you have to respect the effort, regardless of the results.
Odds & Ends
- Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot got the start today as Gerald Henderson sat out with hip discomfort. He had a tough cover with J.J. Reddick running around and got flagged for a flagrant 1. But, it’s been very encouraging to watch his growth this season
- Robert Covington dealt with foul trouble early as he had 3 fouls before the first half ended. He ended the night with 13 points, 6 boards and 3 steals. He’s been so consistent this year.
- Dario Saric had a rough game. His shooting stroke was pretty absent today and his main defensive match up, Blake Griffin, got the better of him multiple times. But Dario is a gamer, so I’m sure he’ll bounce back tomorrow.
- T.J. McConnell had a bounce back game after going 0-fer the previous outing. He ended up with 9 points and 10 assists to finish the night.
- I hate complaining about referees. But I can’t help but feel that it was heavily skewed towards the Clippers, who have a propensity to embellish (and complain) about every little thing that happens. The theatrics are a part of the game, I suppose. But the Sixers were continuously on the end of some really questionable calls. Oh well.
- The Sixers are back at it again tomorrow night against the Lakers.