The LA Clippers haven’t lost to the Knicks in 5 years, since April 25, 2012. One streak was broken, while another streak was extended; the Knicks snapped their 5 year losing streak as they extended the Clippers losing streak to 9 games. Despite Patrick Beverley’s return to the starting lineup, the Clippers’ offense and defense continued to remain dysfunctional. Los Angeles shot an abysmal 37.5% from the field, and no individual Clipper had a stellar performance. While Blake Griffin posted 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists, his poor shooting continued (33% FG). All five Knicks’ starters scored in double figures, as the team led the whole game after the 2nd quarter.
There were two specific components that led to the Clippers’ downfall: the 2nd quarter, and being unable to control the glass.
2nd Quarter Woes
The LA Clippers had a 34-26 lead with 8:55 left in the 2nd quarter. That moment became their last lead of the game, as the Knicks went on a 14-0 run in 2 minutes. By the end of the quarter the Clippers found themselves outscored 24-36, and in a 12 point deficit. LA allowed New York to gobble rebound after rebound, and practically gave up on the defensive end.
One of the most staggering statistics about last night’s game was New York’s 51-36 rebounding advantage. The Knicks and the Clippers average the same amount of rebounds a game (45), so last night’s differential shows a lack of effort. Anytime the Clippers were able to cut the game close, they either turned over the ball or started ball-watching during a rebound. As soon as New York secured a rebound, they managed to hit a second-chance three that deflated Los Angeles.
The Final Clip: Every game seems to be a new struggle for the Clippers. Some games they can’t move the ball at all, some games they can’t rebound well, and some games they can’t take care of the ball. They haven’t put together a good 48 minutes in nearly 3 weeks. Their next opponent is Atlanta, a game they should be favored to win.