Back-to-back afternoon matchups for the Los Angeles Clippers (24-13) pitted them against the New Orleans Pelicans (11-24) just 24 hours after a victory over the Charlotte Hornets. Both the Clippers and the Pelicans were missing their star players, Blake Griffin and Anthony Davis. A W would have meant a lot for either side: Doc Rivers hoped to make it 9 in a row, while Alvin Gentry was looking forward to a better trend for his team (just 1 victory in last 5 games).
The visitors had a great start to the game from behind the arc, making 3 of their first 4 attempts from long range and building an early 6-point lead. Ryan Anderson finished the 1st Quarter with 9 points and 2 rebounds as the Pelicans shot a combined 47.6% from the field. New Orleans flew 11 points in front, being helped by 7 Clippers‘ turnovers. Entering the second quarter, Doc Rivers‘ team warmed up scoring a great 4-6 from downtown, coming from Chris Paul, Wesley Johnson, Jamal Crawford and JJ Redick. The Los Angeles Clippers scored 37 (CP3 had 9; 16 in the half along with 8 assists) going 58% from the field, and headed back to the locker-room leading 49-56.
Back on the court, Chris Paul missed his first 3 shots giving New Orleans the opportunity to come back within 2, to make it a one-possession game. The LA Clippers still managed to keep hold of the lead, thanks to another couple of assists by Paul and a great quarter by Luc Mbah-a-Moute, who was flawless from the field (6/6, 12 points). In the last possession of 3Q, a bad turnover by Jamal Crawford let the Pelicans trail by single digits (76-84).
Crawford redeemed himself in the 4th Quarter with a corner 4-point play on the counter and converting another 3-pointer to stop a 7 point run from the Pelicans. New Orleans managed to come back once again, as Jrue Holiday scored 9 points and the Clippers went ice-cold. Three trips to the charity line by DeAndre Jordan (41% in the season) got the Clips 3 points, while the Pelicans failed in three opportunities to tie the game or take the lead.
The Clippers seemingly ended their game 6 minutes before the horn, scoring no field goals in that span of time. JJ Redick was fouled with 7.0 seconds, but scored just 1 of 2 free throws (98-101); then Austin Rivers fouled Jrue Holiday with 1.6 left on a three-pointer attempt which resulted in all 3 free thows made and a tied game (101-101). DeAndre Jordan missed the last-second tip-in and the matchup headed to overtime.
A great look into overtime by the LA Clippers (4/5 from the field) gave them a 5-point advantage over the Pelicans, who once again tried to claim the lead by fouling Jordan and Mbah-a-Moute on loose balls. With 10.4 seconds left and down 111-114, New Orleans couldn’t get the triple to fall and the Clippers got their ninth consecutive win.
Box Score Highlights
Chris Paul (25p, 11a, 5r), Jamal Crawford (21p, 2a, 3r), DeAndre Jordan (12p, 11r);
Jrue Holiday (29p, 4a, 11r), Tyreke Evans (26p, 7a, 7r), Ryan Anderson (15p, 10r).