Los Angeles, Ca – The Los Angeles Clippers (41-23) have a smooth night over the Minnesota Timberwolves (14-48) with 89-76 victory. They had just come home from playing Golden State yesterday afternoon on prime time but still had the energy to come out and play hard on Ralph #LawlerNight. Lawler not normally the star inside the arena but tonight he was.
The Clippers played a solid but not great game with four players scoring in double figures led by JJ Redick with 26. DeAndre Jordan battled hard down in paint with 20 points, 17 rebounds and 2 blocks, Timberwolves led by Adreian Payne with 16 points and 15 rebounds. These two giants for both teams look to impose their will on the glass when they could. Chris Paul looked to distribute the ball most of the night having 15 assist with 2 points on only 6 shots in game.
After the game Coach Doc Rivers of the Clippers was already answering questions about the upcoming road trip, “This next road trip will be hard. We have to be great defensively. We need to play like we played today or how we played in Chicago.” Now with only 18 games left in regular seasons it appears Golden State will win division, but Doc said “We rather be number one, but we are not going to be. When the Playoffs start we are all even. That is the way we look at it.”
Minnesota coach Filp Saunders chose not to play Kevin Garnett tonight and give him some rest. So it was up to the young guns who seemed to be out of steam. At this point in season the rookies have few off nights not use to going this deep in the number of games for a season. Tonight was their 62nd game, if Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins were still in college the max number of games is only 40 and this if they made it to NCAA championships game. Flip said, “I thought that Wiggins and LaVine, those guys, they look tired. Whether it’s the amount of minutes they played prior that’s catching up to them or what, but they didn’t seem to have the same energy that they’ve had.”
The Clippers are facing a lot of injures and need to get healthy fast for this stretch coming with playoffs just around the corner. The two ten day contracts Jordan Hamilton and Nate Robinson will need to make contributions fast to earn a spot on the post season roster. Blake Griffin looks to possible be back in action during the road trip with Jamal Crawford staying home and getting more treatment and rest. The Clippers will face off against Oklahoma City Thunder (35-28) Wednesday, March 11th at 5pm.