NBA News Wire

Clippers roll past Pelicans

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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LOS ANGELES — After the New Orleans Pelicans suffered a seventh straight loss, coach Monty Williams said the team hit rock bottom.

“This is the worst loss we’ve had this year,” Williams said after the Los Angeles Clippers pounded the Pelicans 108-76 on Saturday night at the Staples Center. “And the character of our locker room is going to have to respond instead of just talking about it.”

Defense spoke volumes for the Clippers (41-20), who frustrated the Pelicans offensively and coasted to their fourth straight win and their seventh in the last nine games. The Clippers beat the Pelicans (23-26) for the sixth consecutive time and for the second time in the past five days.

Point guard Chris Paul had 21 points and eight assists, and forward Blake Griffin added 20 points for Los Angeles. Both played only three quarters. For Griffin, it was the 19th consecutive game that he has scored at least 20 points.

Clippers guard Darren Collison had 15 points.

“I think tonight was about our defense,” said Paul, who hit 7 of 11 shots from the floor. “It’s not about me, it’s not about Blake, (DeAndre Jordan), it’s about our team. It just felt like this was our best defensive game.”

The Clippers forced the Pelicans to miss 12 of their initial 14 shots from the floor. Overall, they held the Pelicans to 32.9 percent shooting (28 of 85) from the field while converting 46.9 percent (38 of 81).

New Orleans also missed 19 of its 22 attempts from behind the 3-point arc (13.6 percent). The Clippers hit 9 of 25 3-pointers (36 percent).

“We didn’t come ready to play,” Williams said. “That’s my responsibility, but it’s also the responsibility of our team, especially the leaders of our team. Our starting unit was collectively not ready to go tonight. Tyreke gave us a lot of juice, but outside of that, we didn’t have much of anything.”

The Pacific Division-leading Clippers did whatever they wanted, building a big lead early and keeping the Pelicans at a distance. Los Angeles led by as many as 21 points in the first half en route to a 51-36 lead at the break.

Griffin and Paul each scored 14 points in the first half. The Clippers held New Orleans to 30.6 percent shooting from the field (15 of 49) and shot 47.2 percent (17 of 36) in the first half.

“We couldn’t throw it in the ocean,” Williams said.

In the third quarter, Los Angeles continued to pour it on. The Clippers increased the margin to 27 after a free throw by Jordan, who finished with 12 rebounds, four blocks and seven points, with 3:41 remaining in the third before taking a 79-56 advantage to end the quarter.

“There were times tonight where it seemed like guys were just flying around,” Griffin said. “The best part about it was we were up 10, 15, whatever it was, I thought our defense stayed solid, for the most part.”

The Clippers outscored New Orleans 25-2 in fast-break points.

Forward Matt Barnes, who hit four of his eight 3-pointers, had 14 points and six rebounds for Los Angeles.

Guard Tyreke Evans had 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists for New Orleans. Reserve guard Austin Rivers chipped in 19 points. Center Alexis Ajinca had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, who scored a career-tying 32 points in a loss to the Phoenix Suns on Friday night, had a rough night. Davis finished with eight points and four rebounds in 20 foul-plagued minutes.

“They were more physical than us the whole game,” said Davis, who managed just 1-of-6 shooting from the floor. “We played soft tonight. You can’t come out playing that soft against a team like that.”

NOTES: Clippers F Danny Granger, who was scheduled to make his debut, was inactive for the game because the club’s coaching staff failed to add him to the active roster an hour before tip-off. In addition, Granger got lost before the game. “I must have been here a thousand times playing throughout the years and I still could not find the players’ entrance to drive in,” said Granger, who signed as a free agent on Friday after receiving a buyout from the Philadelphia 76ers two days earlier. “I drove around Staples (Center) like five times.” Still, Granger believes he will have no trouble being a key contributor to the Clippers. “It’s an up-tempo type of system,” Granger said, “It’s a system I have thrived in in the past.” … Los Angeles G Jamal Crawford, who did not play, is listed as day to day. Crawford strained his left calf in Wednesday’s win over the Houston Rockets. … Pelicans coach Monty Williams shook up the lineup and started G-F Tyreke Evans and C Alexis Ajinca.

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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