It’s NBA Sunday action as the Los Angeles Clippers (6-6) hosted the Toronto Raptors (8-6) at the Staples Center. The Canadians happen to be the team with the most road games so far this season, as they approach their 11th match far from home court. The Clippers have lost 4 of the last 5 match-ups, while the Raptors lost 3 of the last 4: that’s why they both need a win to keep up with the play-off contenders.
For the Clippers, all but JJ Redick seemed to have remained in the locker room for the entire first half. Blake Griffin scored 0 points, managed 3 turnovers and sat on the bench early due to fouls issue (2 on the offensive side). Redick tried to keep the Clips’ hopes alive with 4-6 from the field (2-2 3PT) and Chris Paul dished 6 assists. Most impressive is the fact that the Clippers scored 13 field goals as well as causing 13 turnovers.
On the other hand, the Raptors exploited DeMarre Carroll‘s career-best start: he put up 21 points thanks to converting 8-8 from the field (2-2 3PT). Kyle Lowry did not shine as a shooter, but served 7 assists for his teammates. As a team, the black-and-red shot 51% from the field and 44% from downtown, managing a 49-18 run in the last 18 minutes of the first half. The Raptors led 63-34 at the break.
The LA Clippers came back with a 21-8 run in the 3rd. DeMarre Carroll cooled off as he missed all his shots in the quarter. Moreover, DeAndre Jordan collected 5 blocks and overall the white jerseys defended better as a team conceding only 8 points in 12 minutes. In the last section of the game, the Clippers cut the deficit down to 6 with a triple by Wesley Johnson (Doc Rivers should think about choosing him for the starting line up instead of Paul Pierce), but still Toronto managed to keep the lead safe, mostly because of the high number of turnovers (19) by their opponent.
As the Raptors got the W 91-80, the scoreboard says
LA Clippers: Chris Paul 13 pts, 11 ast; DeAndre Jordan 13 pts, 15 reb, 5 blk.
Toronto Raptors: DeMar DeRozan 21 pts; DeMarre Carroll 21 pts; Luis Scola 20 pts, 8 reb; Kyle Lowry 11 pts, 10 ast.